Pine Spring 2011: Additional Connections

Update on our shout out to Nancy Turner Howe, '69 BA, in the Spring 2011 issue of Pine. We identified Nancy by her current name of Nancy L. Turner, but back in her NAU days she was known as Nancy Turner Howe. We wanted to update you guys so that all her former classmates would know what she's up to. As we said in the Pine, Nancy has retired from her life as a litigation paralegal, former exploration geologist and former Colorado State library teachnician to the beautiful shores of Lake LBJ in Texas. Enjoy it for us all Nancy!

Both Patricia "Patty" Kemnitz, '80 BS and Tracey Avieux, '05 BS find themselves in the business of creating "green" copies. Kemnitz explains that their home base, Xerographics of Flagstaff, is promoting new devices that reduce landfill waste by 90% compared to previous models. Arvieux is agency owner, and Kemnitz -- who graduated from NAU as a teacher and supplied her savvy to Xerox in Phoenix -- are devoted to "selling in a new and positive way...and utilizing `smart' technologies."

Prescott National Forest's Verde District is the new terrain of ranger Celeste Eppersly Gordon, '85 BS, who headed upstate from her post as recreation/special uses program manager for the Coronado National Forest. A veteran staffer of the Coconino and Alabama National Forests, Gordon has a grown son and young granddaughter who live in Michigan. She and husband Pete, Prescott's fire and aviation staff officer, are the parents of two teenage boys.

Attorney Barbara E. Little, '95 BS, has joined Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP as an associate in the firm's Philadelphia-based Trusts and Estates Practice Group. Little earned her law degree -- and a Moot Court award -- from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Previous positions include judicial clerk for the Hon. John E. Wallace, Jr. of the New Jersey Supreme Court and assistant dean of students for the University of Sciences in Philadelphia.

Beckham Price, '00 BS, is now sustainable services manager for IBE Consulting Engineers. He will develop strategies for the national firm's entire building team, using his expert knowledge of international rating systems and his expertise in both on-site construction management and sustainable building. Price received his master's of design science from University of Sydney, Australia, and is a LEED Accredited Professional in both "Oz" and the U.S.

"My personal teaching philosophy," says Terrie Rust, '03 MED, "is founded on my view of teaching as a public trust. I take my responsibilities seriously and know that I owe my students no less than my best effort." Now Rust has been recognized by the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow. The 18-year teaching veteran makes her academic home at Oasis Elementary School in Peoria, Ariz.

Donald R. Scott, '03 BS, has been welcomed to the Phoenix office of Husch Blackwell as an associate in trusts and estates. His areas of expertise include federal and state tax controversies, IRS collections and appeals, and estate planning/business succession. Scott earned his JD, cum laude, from ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

J. Judson "Jut" Wynne, '03 MS, an ecologist with the Colorado Plateau Research Station at NAU, has discovered a rare indigenous life form on environmentally damaged Easter Island: a louse (r.), roughly the size of a grain of rice. An extraordinary find in light of the island's transformation from tropical forest to grassland, the tiny insect survives in a cave within a lava flow. We believe the story would make a poignant animated film: A Louse Among the Moai. Pixar, call us...

In other Darwinian news, Tatum Simonson, '03 BS, '03 BA, '04 MED led a study investigating modern-day Tibetans' adaptation to high elevation. According to the New York Times, her team "scanned the genomes of 31 Tibetans and reported in Science that genes involved in red blood cell production bore the stamp of natural selection." At NAU, Simonson studied under anthrax detector Paul S. Keim, '77 BS... did Ray Auerbach, '04 BS, '06 MS, who is now in Yale's PHD Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBB) program. His first authored paper for Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences was published in 2010. A summary of his current research is published on the Yale CBB website.

Katherine "Kate" Toan, '04 BS, now a law clerk for Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal (Wash., D.C.), sent an appreciative update to Prof. Rod Parnell at NAU's School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability: "[My firm] mostly represents environmental non-profits...My science background has been extremely helpful in my being accepted to law school and finding jobs since then, and I'm grateful to NAU for helping me get where I am now."

Michael McNeil, '05 MS, is one of an "orchestra of voices": the Grammy-winning a cappella vocal group Chanticleer. According to his official bio, Michael -- who sings soprano with the group -- has also performed Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Jack in Sondheim's Into the Woods, and Tom Rakewell in scenes from Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. To listen to Chanticleer at their most sacred and sublime, visit their website and click on the music player.

Talatou Abdoulaye, '07 MED, grew up in Timbuktu, moved to the Malian capital of Bamako to learn ESL and pedagogy, taught high school for 11 years -- and then earned a full ride scholarship from the Fulbright Program which brought him to NAU. Now completing his doctoral studies, Abdoulaye serves on the board of the Ouelessebougou Alliance, a Utah non-profit working in partnership with Malian villagers to "empower communities and change lives."

In the Be Only Slightly Afraid department, Julie B. Wells, '07 BFA, '08 MED authored an art lesson for the November issue of SchoolARTS magazine entitled "Mutant Sock Monsters." This is her third contribution to the mag, which is committed to promoting excellence, advocacy and professional support for educators in the visual arts. When she's not inspiring the footwear to emote, Wells teaches all manner of art to elementary students, and lives in Stanfield, Ariz.

Rachel Brown Youmans, '09 MS, works for the Summit Lake Paiute Tribe. Some of her projects "are in the office (like writing grant proposals) and some on the Reservation (like measuring fish)...Not a day goes by when I do not learn something new, like...composting toilets or ordering the right thickness of tire." Meanwhile, in a more idyllic idiom, on June 12 she married Nathan Youmans -- "the love of my life...I've never been so happy."

You May Have Called Them Classmates...

...And now they've officially earned the right to be considered legends. The 2010 inductees to the NAU Athletics Hall of Fame are: Jay Vargas, '61 BS, '01 HON (athletic contributor award), Owen Dejanovich, '65 BS, '69 MA (football), the 1967 Track and Field Team, Doug Allan, '81 BS, '02 MED (athletic contributor award), Frank Pollack, '90 BS (football), and Ida Nilsson, '05 BA (track and field).

Read more about these superlative scholar-athlete-coach-phenoms in the official announcement.

After the Intermission, More Jacks...

Shelby Brimhall, 10 BS, and Brian Maticic, attended, found a novel way to stay connected to college pals: put them in repertory. Their Phoenix troupe, the Brelby Theatre Company, has featured board-treading by an entire chorus of thespian Lumberjacks:

Leah Nemecek, '06 BS
Mark Poland, '07 BS
Sandra Ponce, '07 BS
Melissa Gibbs-Poland, '08 BS
Brendan McCay, '09 BA
Ryan Abella, '10 BS
Geoff Ramler, '10 BS
Megan Texira, '10 BS

...Plus, current students Chelsea Bentley, Michael Boling, Anya Bregman, Jayme Chavez, Amanda DeLano, Lauren Forschino, Michael Goodwin, Antoinette Lilley, Alex Oliver, Jonathan Sangster, and Nathan Spector.

And, in a sotto voce subplot, Shelby and Brian took an intermission from the stage in early 2011 to tie the knot. Exit, pursued by Cupid.

Alumni & Co.

Even if you refuse, like Groucho, to join any club that would have you as a member, give props to The Vanguard Group, Inc. One of the world's largest investment management companies, Vanguard actually publishes a newsletter to promote affinity among its employees, chock full of announcements from professional certifications to baby pix.

As Gertrude Stein said, "Silent gratitude isn't very much to anyone;" and the NAU Alumni Office is thrilled to give a fortissimo shout out to all past, present and future Vanguard Jacks. And special thanks to Katie Patten, '09, for assembling this list of current Vanguard employees:

Melinda Frankel, '93 BGS
Kari Blake, '95 BS
Nathan Sherrill, '95 BGS
Jonathan Gilcrease, '96 BS
Robert Mennow, '98 BS
Chris Mondino, '01 BFA
Elliot Ravenswood, '02 BS
Kelly Menaugh Newman, '03 BS
Kay Suba, '03 BS
Martin Thornbrew, '03 BS
Ken Begishe, '04 BS
Nathaniel Goubeaux, '04 BS
Victor Sesate, '04 BS
Jessica Triplett, '04 BM
Earl Feddick, '05 BS
Erika Brant, '06 BS
Clay Burke, '06 BS
Rebecca Clark, '06 BS
Travis Horner, '06 BS
Dylan King, '06 BS
Trent Lindsey, '06 BS
Ashley Garrard Peelle, '06 BS
Kevin Takinen, '06 BS
Cristina Valencia, '06 BS
Vickie Yazzie-McBride, '06 BS
Shaun Asuncion, '07 BS
Elba-Isabel Boe, '07 BAILS
David Frost, '07 BS
Sean Ostendarp, '07 BS
Stuart Wells, 07 MBA
Spencer Alldredge, '08 BS
Shannon Atkison, '08 BS
Mark Breiling, '08 BS
Ian McLeod, '08 BS
Mikayla Jayne, '09 BS
Kathryn "Katie" Patten, '09 BS
Kimberly Kitcheyan, '10 BS
Jonathan Okpomor, 10 MBA

Engaging You in the Life of NAU.