Read the latest professional and personal updates on Jewell alumni.
News from Jewell alumni received in 2019
Rev. Paul Powell, ’47, recently resigned from his position as pastor and retired after 75 years of church ministry. He has lived most of his life in St. Louis and recently moved to Abilene, Texas, to be near three of his sons.
Rev. Jerry Ostrom, ’57, has served as pastor of Farber (Missouri) Baptist Church for 12 years after retiring from a 34-year pastorate at Centennial Baptist Church in Mexico, Missouri.
Susie Oberdahlhoff, ’62, was appointed the Pike County Clerk by Gov. Mike Parson after a unanimous vote by the Pike County Commissioners. She will serve for two years until the next election. She has previously served in roles for the Missouri Beef Council and the Missouri Soybean Board. She and her husband reside in Bowling Green.
Dr. Homer Drew, ’66, was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2019. Homer amassed more than 600 wins as a college basketball coach, largely over 22 seasons at Valparaiso (Indiana) University, which later renamed their court after him. He won eight conference championships with the Crusaders and was named a four-time Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year. He and his wife, Janet, reside in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dr. James Pettijohn, Jr., ’69, was one of six 2018 inductees into the Missouri State University Wall of Fame, one of the highest honors an employee can receive from the university. James helped the school’s College of Business Administration earn AACSB accreditation while serving in a variety of roles, including as associate dean and professor. He and his wife, Robin Pettijohn, ’71, reside in O’Fallon.
Philip Love, ’71, retired as managing director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture at Yale Divinity School. Before that, he retired as CEO of Pryor Resources, a business training company. He serves on the board of Angel Flight Central, a nonprofit organization that arranges free flights for people in need, and was awarded the organization’s Distinguished Service and Leadership Award.
Dr. Stephen Cohle, ’72, is a forensic pathologist working for Michigan Pathology Specialists. In November 2018, he presented on sudden cardiac death at a conference on sudden death in Veradero, Cuba. He is also the co-author of two books about cases in western Michigan. He resides in Byron Center, Michigan.
Linda (Higginbotham) Schaller, ’72, had her latest documentary, “A Spark of Nerve,” air on select public television stations in January 2019. The film focuses on Dr. Susan Mackinnon, who is using a new surgery tactic to restore movement to limbs that were believed to be permanently paralyzed. Linda is a four-time Emmy winner for her documentaries on the arts, history and medical science. She and her husband reside in San Francisco, California.
Bill Rogers, ’76, has written two books, Redemption and Redemption 2, as part of a three-part mystery trilogy under the pseudonym Malcolm Tanner. Before becoming an author, Bill was a teacher, coach and superintendent for nearly three decades. He and his wife reside near Table Rock Lake in Missouri.
Bob Stergos, ’77, and his wife, Chrissy, co-founded A Seat at the Table, a nonprofit organization designed to help under-resourced 18- to 25-year-olds transition to adulthood through providing parental presence and community support by residential mentoring in a Christian family environment. He and Chrissy reside in St. Louis.
Dr. Steven Popejoy, ’79, recently had an article titled “Right to Work in Missouri — The People Have Spoken” published in the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review. Steven is the chair of the School of Business Administration and professor of business law at the University of Central Missouri, where he previously served as head of the School of Accountancy. He continues to research areas of employment and labor law, as well as U.S. Supreme Court history. He resides in Blue Springs.
Philip Krause, ’80, of Krause Law LLC, has been practicing law in the Kansas City area for more than 40 years, focusing primarily on corporate, securities, real estate and business law matters. He recently began offering mediation services to disputing parties and their legal counsel, primarily in business-based disputes. Philip also is a frequent lecturer on negotiating principles.
David Cunningham, ’81, was inducted into the Louisiana (Missouri) High School Athletic Hall of Fame in February 2019 for his contributions to the school’s football, basketball and track teams. David, who became Jewell’s leading rusher, was inducted into the Jewell Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. He has retired from a career as a teacher and resides with his wife in Louisiana.
Robert Kirkland, ’81, of Liberty, is managing partner of Kirkland Woods & Martinsen LLP. Earlier this year, the firm opened its fourth office in Clayton, with existing offices in Liberty, Springfield, and Overland Park, Kansas. The firm concentrates its practice in trusts and estates law, with capacity in closely-held corporate and real estate law.
Lori (MacCurdy) Rodgers, ’82, has moved back to Kansas after living more than 30 years in northern Virginia and overseas. She resides in Lawrence.
Timothy Krause, ’83, has written a book, "Finding Theo: A Father's True Story of Loss, Courage and Discovery" (Clovercroft) that was published in August 2018. The book tells the story of the mountain biking accident of his son, Theo, and the people the family met along Theo's journey of recovery. Timothy is a former chief marketing officer of a large telecommunication supplier. He and his wife, Jorja (Morton) Krause, ’83, reside in Dallas.
Jeanette Meyer, ’83, received the 2018 Quality Service Certified Platinum award, the highest level of service achievement in the real estate industry. Jeanette has been a real estate broker with Meyer and Associates at RE/MAX Alliance in Fort Collins, Colorado, since 2001. This is the 7th year she has received Gold or Platinum status and the 14th straight year she has received the QSC award, which is based on independently validated, measurable survey results from past customers. She resides in Windsor, Colorado.
Randy Reinholz, ’84, received the Ellen Stewart Career Achievement Award in the Professional Theatre from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Randy received the honor for his work as founder and producing artistic director of Native Voices at the Autry, the nation’s premier equity theatre company dedicated exclusively to the development and production of new plays by Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and First Nations playwrights. He resides with his family in Chula Vista, California.
Robyn (Breckenridge) Sedgwick, ’86, was hired as general manager of KCME and Jazz 93.5 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She previously served as general manager of radio stations KTLF, KTPL and The Legacy in Colorado Springs, where she resides with her husband.
Jody Jensen Shaffer, ’86, has had her 2017 picture book, “Prudence the Part-Time Cow” (Henry Holt Children’s), named as a finalist for the 2019-2020 Missouri Show Me Award by the Missouri Association of School Librarians.
Sam Beckett, ’88, was one of the solo pianists performing alongside the Kansas City Symphony during the Kansas City Ballet’s performance of “The Lady of Camellias” in February 2019. He and his family reside in Kansas City.
Lisa O’Brien Enger, ’90, is the vice president of university relations for Lindenwood University. She has more than 20 years of senior leadership and management experience, including executive director positions at the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure St. Louis affiliate and the United Soybean Board, of which she was recently the chief operating officer. She is active in the community, including as board member of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital Foundation Guild, and has been a St. Louis Business Journal “40 Under 40” honree. Lisa and her husband reside in St. Louis.
Col. Eric T. Olson, ’90, was appointed the 24th superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol by Gov. Mike Parson in March 2019. Eric, also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, had been serving as interim superintendent since September 2018. In his time with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, he has served as commanding officer of Troop A and has overseen the Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control. He and his family reside in Macon.
Kristen (Fairlie) Smarr, ’91, has been named deputy chief marketing and communications officer for the University of Missouri. She has led communications at the university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources for the past 15 years. She and her family reside in Columbia.
Tamela Luce, ’94, has been named the president and CEO of the Phoenixville Health Foundation in Pennsylvania. She has served as the senior program officer for HealthSpark Foundation and director of grantmaking for Women’s Way, one of the nation’s oldest and largest women’s funding organizations. She resides in North Wales, Pennsylvania.
Hon. Blake Adams, ’96, was sworn in as Collier County, Florida, Court Judge in January 2019 after being elected in November. He earned a J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Tulsa in 2009. He resides in Naples, Florida.
Jana Henry Funderburk, ’96, received promotion to full professor of theatre and dance at Millikin University. She has been teaching theatre design and technology since 1999 while continuing to design professionally in regional theatre. She and her family reside in Decatur, Illinois.
Matthew Myers, ’98, recently retired from the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant commander after 20 years of service and multiple combat deployments. He completed a second master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Washington and is pursuing a second career in librarianship. He and his family reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Eric Blair, ’01, has been hired as the vice president of enrollment and marketing at Jewell. He had served at Park University since 2002 in a variety of roles, including most recently as associate vice president for enrollment management. He and his family reside in Lawson.
Gus "Jack" Wetzel, III, ’01, has been appointed to the Hawthorn Bancshares, Inc., board of directors. He had served on the board of directors of Hawthorn Bank, one of Hawthorn Bancshares’ subsidiaries, since 2017. Jack is the president of Meadows Construction Company and Meadows Development Company, both of Clinton, Missouri, where he resides.
Suvir Dhar, ’02, has been named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” list for 2019. He is a Simmons Hanly Conroy shareholder focused on mesothelioma litigation. Suvir volunteers with The Little Bit Foundation and is a board member for both La Salle Middle School and the United Way, Southwest Illinois Division. He and his family reside in St. Louis.
Crystal Howard, ’02, has joined Husch Blackwell in Kansas City as a partner in its tax practice group and its Financial Services and Capital Markets industry team. She advises a variety of business types on all aspects of federal income taxation and at all stages of the business life cycle.
Dr. Christopher Strelluf, ’02, had his new book, “Speaking from the Heartland: The Midland Vowel System of Kansas City,” published by the American Dialect Society and Duke University Press in December 2018. He works as an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Warwick in Coventry, and he and his family reside in Kenilworth, United Kingdom.
Darren Prenger, ’03, COO of ECCO Select Corp., was named the 2019 Emerging Philanthropist of the Year by Nonprofit Connect. He was nominated for his philanthropy and board service with nonprofits including the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, FIRE Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City. Darren and his family reside in Parkville.
Carrie (Vanderford) Sanders, ’03, accepted the role of director of community engagement and impact at Edgewood College, where she has been serving on faculty in the Social Innovation and Sustainability Leadership Graduate Program. Carrie is also the founder and CEO of Hope Community Capital, a national consultancy that connects community development projects with financing, and investors and organizations with opportunities to cultivate sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities. Carrie resides in Middleton, Wisconsin, with her husband, Scott, and their three children.
Dr. Gregory Bohner, ’04, earned a Ph.D. in counseling and student development from Kansas State University in December 2018. His dissertation title was “The Relationship Between College Counselor Work Responsibilities and Burnout.” Greg currently serves as the director for disability services at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, where he resides with his family.
Dr. Amy Smith, ’04, earned a Ph.D. in music therapy from the University of Kansas in May. In the fall, she will begin her role as an assistant professor in music therapy at Sam Houston State University (Texas).
Dr. Alan Wegener, ’04, opened Richards & Wegener, Optometrists, with Dr. John Richards in October 2018 in Liberty. Alan also serves as treasurer for the Missouri Optometric Association. He and his wife, Emily (Wommack) Wegener, ’05, and their three sons reside in Kansas City.
Dr. Zachary Frey, ’05, was selected to serve on the board of directors for the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians. He is currently the medical director of primary care services at Mary Lanning Healthcare. He, his wife Lindsay (Wiegel) Frey, ’04, and their two children, Emerson and Madelyn, reside in Hastings, Nebraska.
Dr. Michael Strickland, ’05, was awarded a five-year, roughly $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to research the effects of agricultural antibiotics on soil food webs and the ecosystem. Michael is an assistant professor at the University of Idaho’s Department of Soil and Water Systems. The project will also develop training for graduate students and visit middle schools in nearby towns to teach soil health and teach them to collect soil samples.
Josepha Haden Chomphosy, ’06, was named the executive director of the WordPress open source project in January 2019 for Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, Longreads and more. She had recently worked with the WordPress Foundation, focusing on educational initiatives dedicated to diversity in technology and the introduction of open-source ideals on a global scale. She resides in Kansas City.
Dr. Gayla Huffman, ’06, was elected as director of the Society of Pediatric Nurses board. She is also the chair-elect of the organization’s Program Planning Committee and the education and professional development program manager at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She resides in Kansas City.
Heather Jones, ’06, was hired in January 2019 as executive director of Iowa Sister States, a nonprofit that manages Iowa’s nine official international partnerships. Heather had previously served as deputy campaign manager for the campaign of Deidre DeJear, the first African-American nominated by a major party for statewide office in Iowa. Heather resides in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sean Riordan, ’06, is a research assistant professor at Children’s Mercy Hospital and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is currently researching brain damage caused by severe hyperbilirubinemia in babies and the resulting brain damage known as kernicterus. He and his wife, Rachel (Butz) Riordan, ’06, reside in Lenexa, Kansas.
Joshua Rogers, ’06, and his wife, Katee McLean, have opened a new restaurant concept, Vildhast, in the Parlor Food Hall in the Crossroads. Vildhast is a fast-casual concept focusing on Scandinavian street food and Korv (sausage). This is in addition to their other restaurant, Krokstrom Klubb & Market. They reside in Kansas City.
Elizabeth Walsh Yoder, ’06, was named to the de Beaumont Foundation’s inaugural 40 Under 40 in Public Health list. The national list showcases leaders who embody collaboration, creativity and innovation, while also highlighting solutions and innovations in the field of public health. Elizabeth, a public health statistician for the Kansas City (Missouri) Health Department, was the only recipient chosen from Kansas and Missouri.
Adam Hill, ’07, has been named president and COO of the Scarbrough Group of Companies in Kansas City. Adam began at Scarbrough, a logistics provider, as an account representative and he most recently served as the executive vice president. His career with Scarbrough began through a college internship while at Jewell. He and Dr. Tiffany (Keller) Hill, ’07, reside in Parkville.
Dr. Lisa (Bush) Lauck, ’07, earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Baker University in April 2019. Her dissertation title was “Grade Distribution and Perceptions of School Culture and Climate In a New Secondary School.” In addition to completing her degree Lisa was recently published as a contributor to "Herstory: Woman in American History" a publication created by National History Day Foundation in conjunction with History and Lifetime. The publication is a collection of lesson plans about great American Women. Lisa teaches 8th grade English language arts and coaches cheer and dance in Excelsior Springs. She resides in Liberty with her husband, Jake Lauck '07, and their 3-year-old daughter.
Daniel Stricker, ’07, has been selected as president of Ascension Post-Acute Services. He had served as chief operating officer for Ascension Living and was named one of the Catholic Health Association’s “Tomorrow’s Leaders” in 2016. Danny and his family reside in Des Peres, Missouri.
Lilia Toson, ’07, has been named one of 40 Under 40 attorneys by the National Bar Association. The awards recognize those young lawyers who “exemplify a broad range of high achievement in the legal field, including in advocacy, innovation, vision, leadership and overall legal and community involvement. Lilia is the assistant attorney general in the New York State Office of the Attorney General in the Health Care and Civil Rights bureaus. She and her family reside in Brooklyn, New York.
John Barber, '08, of Kansas City, was promoted to vice president, general counsel and compliance officer at UGA Finance, after joining the organization in 2017 as its in-house counsel. He received a Juris Doctorate from Florida Coastal School of Law and has previously practiced in the private sector for two law firms. He is licensed to practice law in Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas.
Alex Saxon, ’09, was cast in a main role as Gabriel Johnson in the ABC drama “The Fix” that premiered in March 2019. His work in other shows includes recurring characters on “The Fosters,” “Finding Carter” and “Ray Donovan.” He resides in Sherman Oaks, California.
Sarah Taylor, ’09, earned a master’s degree in international advocacy and leadership from Avila University in December 2018. She resides in Kansas City, Mo.
Jon Ubbenga, ’09, has been hired as an assistant baseball coach at Tarleton State University (Texas). He had served as head baseball for two seasons at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in Oklahoma City.
Rev. Nathan Rueb, ’12, was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in September 2018. The ceremony was presided by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Bishop’s Conference and was among those presented to Pope Francis. Nathan will remain in Rome until his ordination to the priesthood in May 2019.
Trista Turley, ’12, was hired as staff attorney for the Ohio Court of Claims. She previously worked as assistant attorney general at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. She resides in Columbus, Ohio.
Drew Mitrisin, ’13, earned a master’s degree in public management from Johns Hopkins University and works in industry affairs for the American Trucking Association. Angie (Petersen) Mitrisin, ’14, completed a master’s degree in education-reading from Johns Hopkins University and is employed by KIPP DC. They reside in Washington, D.C.
Jessica (Connery) Montague, ’13, was one of 16 winners selected among 157 Kansas City nominees for the inaugural Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Education Awards, which include a $10,000 prize. Jess is a fourth-grade teacher at Clardy Elementary in the North Kansas City School District, where she also serves as a science and mathematics demonstration teacher.
David Sanchez, ’14, tenor, will make his solo debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in a September 2019 production of “Porgy and Bess.” He moved to New York in 2018 and performed in “La Boheme” and “West Side Story” with City Lyric Opera before performing as an apprentice artist with the Sarasota Opera in Florida in spring 2019. In the summer of 2019, he debuted with New York City Opera in their world premiere of “Stonewall” by Iain Bell.
Dr. Andrew Wommack, ’14, received the Ruth Ridenhour Scholarly and Professional Achievement Award at High Point University’s commencement ceremony. The award honors a full-time faculty member for exemplary accomplishments in research and creative endeavors. Andrew is an assistant professor of chemistry whose research focuses on synthetic organic chemistry and bio-organic chemistry, earning more than $350,000 in grants from the National Science Foundation and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. He resides in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Adam Young, ’14, completed an Executive MBA from Rockhurst University in May 2018. He works for Burd and Fletcher. Adam and Haley (Jones) Young, ’14, reside in Prairie Village, Kansas.
Brooklyn Bradley, '16, was named the 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year at Byhalia (Mississippi) Elementary as a result of successful test scores in reading and math, and for her community involvement in starting the school's first music club. She went to Mississippi through Teach For America to impact the lives of children in a small town. She resides in Olive Branch.
Jess Capps, ’17, has been admitted into the University of Kansas Doctor of Medicine program beginning in fall 2019.
Reed Brown, ’17, will begin the doctorate in physical therapy program at Regis University in Denver beginning in fall 2019.
Parker Wood, ’17, has been named a managing partner with Josh DeShong Real Estate in Heath, Texas, where he resides.
Aaron Brake, ’18, has been admitted into the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program for fall 2019.
Courtney Eddins, ’18, received the Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award from the Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education at a conference in March 2019. She is a fourth-grade teacher at Brookfield (Missouri) Elementary School and resides in Chillicothe.
Jessa (Adams) Hahn, ’18, received the Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award from the Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education at a conference in March 2019. She teaches math at Kearney (Missouri) High School and resides in Liberty.
Zhuoshi Liu, ’18, has been accepted by Oldenburg University (Germany) to pursue a master’s degree in neuroscience. Zhuoshi interned in summer 2019 at Shanghai New York University’s Speech, Language and Neuroscience Lab, studying electroencephalograph protocols and taking part in cognitive neuroscience research.
Alex Millhuff, ’18, was accepted to the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program for fall 2019.