Mark Johnstone recently relocated to Trinidad, Colorado, and sits on the Corazon de Trinidad Creative District board. He spent the last 16 years in Hailey and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, working at the local and state levels with Arts Idaho. He was also public art adviser for the entire state, 2012-13. Prior to that, Mark was a curator, writer, and educator in Los Angeles for 27 years, during which time he was administrator of the Percent for Art program with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. He was a visiting professor from 1975-84 in the CC summer Photography Institute.
John Traeger took a coast-to-coast bike trip with three other CC alumni from Anecortes, Washington, to Bar Harbor, Maine, from Aug. 2 to Oct. 1, 2019. The group had a number of alumni join along the route, including a few days up in Canada with former CC hockey player George Nickerson ’78. In the photo from Day 1 of the trip from left to right: Traeger, Catherine Murphy Craig ’78, Peter Bansen ’78, and Robert LeVine ’78. Pete drove the RV for most of their adventure and John says, “We could not have done it without him.”
Thomas “Shaun” Sullivan announced his retirement as the Broomfield city and county attorney in Colorado. His work there for the past two years has included navigating various oil and gas issues, as well as local and state public health orders while supervising 40 attorneys who provide legal advice in real estate, environmental law, and financial litigation. Shaun also served as principal attorney for Denver’s Department of Environmental Health and Board of Environmental Health since its inception in 1997 and, in 2005, as assistant director of the Municipal Operations Section in Denver.
Susan “Sue” Sonnek Strater and friends had their annual meetup this year via Zoom due to COVID-19. From left to right, top: Linda Snow Sweets Martin ’79, Sue Sonnek Strater, and Kathy Loeb ’79, and left to right, bottom: Nancy Levit ’79, Julie Edelstein-Best ’79, and Deborah Parks Palmisano ’79.
Julie Meltzer, director of curriculum, assessment, and instruction for the Mount Desert Island (MDI) Regional School System, was named the Curriculum Leader of the Year for Maine for 2019-20 by the Maine Curriculum Leaders Association. Julie has worked for the MDI school system since 2013.
Camille Blakely recently became director of agency operations at AdPro 360, a Colorado Springs advertising agency. Prior to her new post, Camille was the director of community engagement for The Resource Exchange and president and a partner in the Blakely + Co. advertising agency. She also held executive positions with Graham Advertising, Team Automotive, and the Burt Automotive Network.
Sandra Gardner was appointed a district court judge for Colorado’s 14th Judicial District Court. She replaces Judge Shelley A. Hill, who will retire in January 2021. Sandra’s appointment is effective Jan. 12. Prior to being appointed to the district court bench for the 14th Judicial District, she served as the appointed Moffat County court judge for approximately 13 years and had recently retired. She says she cannot think of a better profession than the law. “Period.”
Thomas “Tom” Southall was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. Tom played football and participated in track for Colorado College. He led the nation in punt-return yardage and set the NCAA Division III career record for kickoff return yards. He was track MVP all four years and set school records in the long jump, 200-meter dash, and 4 x 100-meter relay. He is one of only two physically impaired athletes in their state association halls of fame including the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame. Tom’s work in Paralympics led to trips with the U.S. National Paralympics Track & Field Team to the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico, his selection to the 2007 Paralympics Academy in Colorado Springs, and 2008 Paralympics Beijing.
Pamela Riney-Kehrberg was named a distinguished professor of history at Iowa State University.
Linda Reiner was named the new president and CEO of Caring for Colorado, a statewide foundation working to create equity in health, well-being, and opportunity for Colorado’s children and families.
In January, Dori Borjesson was named the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, the first woman to ever hold that title. Dori’s appointment makes her one of just 11 female veterinary deans in the United States out of 32 veterinary colleges. Previously, Dori was chair of the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at the University of California Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a board-certified veterinary clinical pathologist and was the director of the UC Davis’ Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures.
One thing that drew Dori to WSU was its One Health Clinic — a place where currently homeless people can get basic medical care and veterinary care for their companion animals in a side-by-side setting. Similarly, as a student in 1992, Dori co-founded the Mercer Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless where free care is provided to the pets of homeless people in Sacramento, California. As dean, Dori plans to address compassion fatigue in veterinary medicine, diversity in her profession, and ways to limit the financial burden on recent graduates.
Adam Burke was officially named president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board after an interim period that started in April. Being in charge of the official destination marketing organization for the City of Los Angeles during a pandemic is no small task but his 25 years of industry experience will help ensure that Adam can “leverage the economic power of tourism to improve the quality of life for all Angelenos,” even now.
Jeremy Vannatta, vice president, Partnerships at Health Perspectives Group, released a 13-song album of all original compositions called “Evolved” with a full band in December 2019. He is playing shows around Chicagoland and goes by JB Vannatta. Digital download of the album is available at jbvannatta.com.
Andrew “Andy” Brown, an attorney and political operative in Austin, Texas, lost a hard-fought Democratic primary for Travis County judge to Sarah Eckhardt in 2014. He recently won the Democratic nomination to succeed her in a special election on the November 2020 ballot. Andy served as Travis County Democratic Party chairman from 2008 to 2013. He has been part of Beto O’Rourke’s inner circle since his 2018 U.S. Senate campaign, when, as finance director, Andy led the effort to raise a record-breaking $80 million. He was an adviser to O’Rourke’s subsequent presidential campaign and is now finance director for Powered by the People, the political action committee O’Rourke created at the end of last year to work on Democratic registration and turnout efforts in Texas in the November election.
Elliot Page plays guitar, sings, and produces for a band named The Forest Effect. His songs, “Melody Left in Ruin” and “Photos on the Shelf,” can be found on Spotify and Apple. His next release is slated for Spring 2021.
In September 2019, Steve Krutek had a reunion of friends who met at CC in Crested Butte, Colorado. This group that meets every two or three years includes (left to right): Sean Davidson ’96, Alex Fenlon ’97, Ian Jacobson ’96, John Hall ’96, Bryan Vidinsky ’96, and Steve Krutek ’96. Also, in attendance, but not pictured: Mark Kuniholm ’96.
Gina Lopez-Ferguson was awarded the 2020 Southwest Region Alpha Delta Kappa Excellence in Education Award. This award recognizes members for outstanding contributions to education. Gina is currently the director of multiple programs at Colorado State University Pueblo, where she has worked since 2007.
Evan Berquist, a corporate mergers and acquisitions lawyer, has been recognized by the Hennepin County (Minnesota) Bar Association with an excellence award in pro bono service. Evan’s pro bono work helping the St. Paul First Lutheran Church fight City Hall to keep their homeless shelter open and serving as legal adviser and program board member for the New Vision Foundation in Minnesota (where they teach digital skills to disadvantaged youth both in Minneapolis and East Africa) earned him this accolade.
Evan’s pro bono work was also recognized by the Minnesota Supreme Court, in partnership with the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Council and Access to Justice Committee. He was one of the select attorneys who have provided exceptional service to low-income clients and programs during the past year. Evan was one of 29 attorneys recognized and received a personally signed letter from Chief Justice Lori S. Gildea.
William and Barbara Davis ’73 shared that their son, Michael Brewster Davis ’04, was awarded his posthumous Doctor of Medicine degree from his medical school, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Michael was diagnosed with brain cancer in January 2007, during his second year of medical school, and he passed away in November 2009.
During his illness, he remained in Chicago to pursue his medical degree, then to be close to his classmates and professors. He was dedicated to sharing information and did so through his blog, Mike with a glioma… what’ll ya do? Michael was always willing to participate in meetings or discussions about his illness. In addition, he organized and hosted a presentation for his classmates and the medical school faculty about his kind of cancer, his perspective as a patient, and his hopes for the future, stressing that he would answer any questions anyone asked. Michael’s hope was that his personal journey could in some way benefit his classmates and their careers as doctors.
On Sept. 27, 2019, Michael’s family, classmates, and professors attended a lovely reception at Navy Pier in Chicago. Dr. Sam Marzo, dean of Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, then presented Michael’s Doctor of Medicine degree to his family saying, “He taught about courage, commitment, and dedication in the most profound way.” Michael’s parents, his sister Katherine “Katie” Davis-Sayles ’01, her husband Jacob, and his brother, Jon Davis, attended.
Andrew Woodward was appointed CEO of Blueknight Energy Partners, L.P. in June. Andrew was previously CFO for Blueknight, a company that owns and operates a diversified portfolio of complementary midstream and infrastructure assets in the energy industry and “provides integrated terminalling [handling and storage], gathering, and transportation services for companies engaged in the production, distribution, and marketing of liquid asphalt and crude oil.”
William Harrington has been named a “Best Lawyer: Ones to Watch” in the areas of commercial litigation and insurance law by the recently released 2021 edition of the legal-ranking guide “The Best Lawyers in America.”
Jenny LaBudde joined the staff of the Women’s Health and Family Birthing Center at Memorial Hospital in Conway, New Hampshire, in September. Jenny cites her studies in feminism and gender at CC as an influence on her choice to pursue obstetrics and gynecology. Previously, she completed a four-year residency at Maine Medical Center in Portland where she worked with the local refugee community, an experience that expanded her compassion for “patients’ beliefs and cultural expectations about birth.” Jenny is married to Zachary Steveson ’07.
Simon Cataldo became a partner at the Ashcroft Law Firm’s Boston office. Simon has extensive experience investigating, prosecuting, and litigating complex white-collar matters involving both public officials and private individuals. Prior to joining the Ashcroft Law Firm, Simon served as a trial attorney at the Public Integrity Section of the United States Department of Justice. Between CC and law school, Simon was a special education math teacher in Harlem, New York, with Teach for America and founded Harlem Lacrosse, “a school-based nonprofit that provides academic, emotional, and athletic support for at-risk youth and that now operates in public schools in Boston, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.”
Jeffrey Zager has been named a finalist for the 2020 Nashville (Tennessee) Emerging Leader Awards in the legal services industry by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville. Jeffrey is an attorney at Neal & Harwell in Nashville, representing clients in complex civil litigation.
Claire Petersen and Jeff Hester were married in Nicasio, California, on Sept. 14, 2019. Pictured left to right (all class of 2012 unless noted): Dan Fuwa, Malia Vitousek, Riley Hawkins, Ian Coughlan, Molly Sinnott, Alex Whiting, Josh Anderson, Jeff Hester, Claire Petersen Hester, Rob Bishop, Graham Borgman, Lee Carter, Carolyn Barnwell Carter, Garrett Lund, Athena Areti, Chelsea Davenport, Marika Viragh ’13, Brendan Boepple ’11, Alex Tarika, Eleanor Anderson, Robin Walter, and Olivia Wall.
Emma Volk McDermott married Eamonn McDermott on Aug. 15. As a result of the pandemic, they had to change their original plans of having 20-plus CC grads there out of 200 guests to 25 guests and one other alumna, maid of honor Shealagh Coughlin ’14, who was also Emma’s roommate sophomore through senior years at CC. Pictured from left: Emma, Eamonn, and Shealagh.
Henry Fulton Winship enrolled in the MFA Acting program at California Institute of the Arts. He will work remotely from Brooklyn this fall while living with his girlfriend and painter, Lizzy Gabay. Henry hopes the CC community is taking care during the pandemic and looks forward to returning to the West by the new year.
William J. Rushton has been training and teaching at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy, for the past four and a half years. This March, one of his oil paintings was selected for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition in London, originally scheduled for May. This year, however, due to COVID-19, the exhibition will be available for viewing only online. Unlike other portrait exhibitions, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition is rigorously selected by professional portrait painters who themselves have been elected by their peers to the Society. It is one of the world’s most extensive contemporary portrait exhibitions forming a showcase of some 200 works, about half of which are from emerging artists like William. You can find William on Instagram @williamjrushton.
Shelly Cheng received an honorable mention recognition in this year’s Anson Jones, MD, Awards for Outstanding Health Reporting from Texas Medical Association for her story about vaccine exemption rates in the Texas Tribune.
Taylor Fry is the digital content coordinator for Teton Gravity Research, an action sports media company. She works with various teams to ensure marketing and distribution initiatives are delivered across all social media platforms.
Mitchell Ukropina, son of Kimber Felton ’91 and Michael “Mike” Ukropina ’89, woke up to this in lieu of the official CC graduation ceremony and celebration that was supposed to happen this year. His folks said, “Since we can’t scream and cheer for a year, we thought a sign would sufficiently embarrass him and his housemates.”