Wayne State College


Alumni eNewsletter | Fall 2012



Alumni Service Award

photoThe 2012 Alumni Service Award was presented to Don and Diane (Massman) Soukup at the Homecoming/Hall of Fame Banquet on Sept. 29. The award recognizes alumni who have enhanced the college through dedicated service, promotion and financial support.

Don and Diane graduated from WSC in 1971. Both started their insurance careers as claims adjusters, moved to an insurance regional office where Don earned Insurance Institute of America and Fellowship of Life Management Institute designations and became a Life Company Underwriting Superintendent and Diane was a subrogation officer. They left the internal operations of the company to pursue careers in sales; Don was an agent/broker and Diane a customer service representative/instructor.

Concurrently, they served in the U.S. Army Reserves.  Don retired after 23 years as a sergeant major and Diane at 20 years as a master sergeant. Their brokerage was sold; however, they still own a percentage in an insurance company and continue to maintain insurance licenses in California and Nevada by completing continuing education courses. The Soukups became trustees of the Wayne State Foundation in 1986 and are members of the Presidents Society and the Heritage Society.



Outstanding Alumni

photoOutstanding alumni from each of Wayne State College's four schools were honored at a banquet on Sept. 28 during Homecoming. The honorees:

Brad Weber '77 - School of Arts and Humanities
Weber received a degree in music education from WSC.  He earned a master's degree in music from the University of Wyoming in 1992. He began his instrumental music career in the Emerson-Hubbard schools in 1977 and has taught instrumental music in the Wayne Community Schools since 1986. Weber has served as an adjunct instructor of music at WSC since 1984. Throughout his career, Weber's strongest interest has been that of teaching and providing exceptional musical experiences for all interested students at all levels of talent. He began in 1977 and continues to serve as an active adjudicator and clinician throughout Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota.  Weber and his wife, Deb (who is employed at WSC in the Counseling Center), are parents to three grown daughters.  
Rowan Wiltse '83, MSE '86 - School of Business and Technology
Wiltse is a lifelong resident of Wayne. He attended WSC for two years prior to graduating from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1955. For many years he was associated with his grandfather and father in the funeral business. Wiltse was the recipient of the Nebraska Funeral Directors Hero's Award for saving a life. Wiltse returned to WSC, earning a degree in industrial education in 1983. He continued at WSC as a graduate assistant while attaining a masters degree in industrial technology in 1986. He was an adjunct instructor in applied science at WSC and became director of Cooperative Education, a position he held until his retirement in 1997. Wiltse and his wife, Twila (Heier, WSC '67) are parents to two grown children.

ReNae Kehrberg '81 - School of Education and Counseling
Kehrberg graduated from WSC with a degree in education. She earned a master's from University of Nebraska-Omaha and a doctorate from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She serves as the assistant superintendent for the department of Curriculum and Learning in the Omaha Public Schools. She leads the district action plan to raise student achievement for 85 schools. She started her career in art and social studies classrooms as a teacher for the Omaha Public Schools. Prior to her present position, Kehrberg served as an award-winning and nationally recognized principal at the Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School, Omaha. She received the Region VII Midwest Principal of the Year Award in 2010 and her school was cited as one of the top 15 in the nation based on the school's standardized middle grade assessment scores.

Joseph Wall '04 - School of Natural and Social Sciences
Wall graduated from WSC with a degree in political science. He serves as vice president in the Office of Government Affairs at Goldman Sachs. Prior to joining the firm in February 2010, Wall was senior director of federal government relations at the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. Previously, he served as deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for legislative affairs and worked as floor assistant for Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) in the Office of the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. Joe was a four-year letterman in baseball at WSC. He resides in Arlington, Va.





Hall of Fame Inductees Honored

photoEach year, Wayne State Hall of Fame inductees are honored at a Homecoming Banquet. Those recognized at the Sept. 29 event:

Dave Bross (Athlete) '68
Dave Bross, a defensive end from Minneapolis, was a starter from 1964 to 1967 at WSC and earned Nebraska College Conference All-Conference honors three seasons while making the NAIA All-District 11 football team as a senior in 1967. He was captain and MVP on defense in 1967 and was honorable mention All-American as a senior. After his playing days at WSC, Bross went on to coach football and baseball at Anoka High School in Minnesota for 26 years. His teams won Minnesota Class 4AAA state football titles in 1990 and 2000 and were Region 4AAA baseball champs in 1984, 1987 and 1995, winning Region Coach of the Year honors each season. He resides in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Ronald Coles II (Athlete) '75
Ron Coles was a standout football lineman and wrestler at Wayne State from 1970 to 1973. A graduate of Marshall High School in Indianapolis, Ind., Coles was a three-time letter winner in football and was a two-time NAIA All-American in wrestling. He was a starting offensive lineman as a sophomore then moved to starting defensive tackle as a junior and senior earning NAIA Honorable Mention All-District 11 honors his last two seasons. In wrestling he placed third at heavyweight in 1972 and was sixth in 1974. Coles resides in Columbus.

Karen Hochstein (Athlete) '03
Karen Hochstein started all but three games during her four-year women's basketball career from 1999 to 2003. The Hartington Cedar Catholic graduate ranks fifth all-time in career scoring with 1,530 points and is third in career rebounds with 845. Hochstein averaged 14.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during her career. She ranks as one of the top all-time shooters, making 49.4 percent of her shots from the field (537 of 1087) and 70.2 percent (454 of 646) at the free throw line. Hochstein also excelled in the classroom as a WSC Presidential Scholar Athlete, three-time NSIC All-Academic selection and was twice named to the Verizon Academic All-District Team. She resides in Omaha.

Jim Paige (Administrator/Coach) 1975 to 2004
Jim Paige served as Wayne State's athletic faculty representative for nearly 30 years (1975 until his retirement in 2004). Paige was a WSC professor of mathematics from 1968 until 2004 and is still involved in Wildcat athletics, serving as a track official for numerous home track and field events. Paige served as a member of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame board of directors. He received the Distinguished Contributor of the Year Award from the National Federation of High School Associations in 2000 and in 2002 was presented with the Nebraska School Activities Association Distinguished Service Award. Paige was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 at the Northeast Nebraska Track and Field Classic in Norfolk. He resides in Wayne.





Fall College Rankings Reveal the Best About Wayne State College

Fall rankings season has descended upon the nation's universities and colleges and Wayne State continues to shine in several areas that reflect the college's mission and vision of making a notable difference to rural and community life through learning excellence, student success and regional service.

Rather than rely on one publication's findings, Wayne State has compiled the results of three ranking systems, U.S.News & World Report, Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings, and Colleges of Distinction, to paint the most comprehensive picture of where the college stands among its peers in the state, Midwest region and in the nation.
“Obviously, rankings are a slippery subject and will never serve as a substitute for first-hand research about the best college to suit a student's desire for an education,” said Wayne State President Curt Frye. “We encourage students to visit Wayne State to talk to our students, staff and faculty to get a real feel for the college. That said, rankings can provide students with a place to start in the search process and serve as an important barometer for the college to gauge where it is at in relation to our peers.”

The 2013 U.S. News & World Report College Compass ranks Wayne State College 88th out of more than 180 Midwest Regional Universities, a category made up of a mix of public and private colleges and universities. Wayne State is ranked 32nd among public colleges in the Midwest region. WSC is the fourth highest ranked college or university in Nebraska in the Midwest Regional University category (behind Creighton and Concordia, both privates, and University of Nebraska-Kearney).

Only one other college besides Wayne State among the more than 180 listed as Midwest Regional Universities is noted as having a 100 percent acceptance rate. The average acceptance rate for the top 15 Public Midwest Regional Universities is 71 percent.

“Wayne State does not shy away from its open enrollment policy,” President Curt Frye said. “We believe as an institution that it is our duty to accept all people who desire to better themselves through a degree. Unfortunately, a high acceptance rate works against an institution's reputation. Shouldn't it be the other way around?”

“What's more remarkable is that Wayne State College has maintained a 67 to 69 percent retention rate for quite a few years, which is close to the rate seen at highly selective colleges and universities throughout the nation,” Frye said.

Of the colleges and universities in the Midwest, only 15 have a higher alumni giving rate than Wayne State. In fact, WSC has a higher alumni giving rate than the top 15 Public Midwest Regional Universities.

“What better endorsement could a college ask for than the financial support of its mission and vision from its graduates?” Frye said.

“I am pleased to see Wayne State College's high ranking on alumni giving but not surprised,” said Phyllis Conner, WSC Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the Wayne State Foundation. “Our alumni consistently talk about the value of their education and their whole experience as a student; it changed their lives. This is a powerful motivation to contribute.”

Washington Monthly, founded in 1969, rates schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

“Unlike U.S. News & World Report and similar guides, this one asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country,” according to the magazine's press materials. “Are they educating low-income students, or just catering to the affluent? Are they improving the quality of their teaching, or ducking accountability for it? Are they trying to become more productive—and if so, why is average tuition rising faster than health care costs? Every year we lavish billions of tax dollars and other public benefits on institutions of higher learning. This guide asks: Are we getting the most for our money?”

Wayne State has the highest overall score of any public institutions in Nebraska, according to Washington Monthly. The college ranks third among all public and private schools in Nebraska and comes in at 87th in the nation among master's universities. Also of note, Wayne State is ranked second in Nebraska and 41st in the nation for the quality of its service staff, courses and financial aid support.

Colleges of Distinction is a college guide with a unique approach. Instead of looking for the richest or the most famous schools, the guide asks which colleges are the best places to learn, to grow, and to succeed.

“The goal of Colleges of Distinction is to provide students, counselors, and parents with information about schools that excel in these key areas,” according to its website. “We describe schools that take a holistic approach to admissions decisions, that consistently excel in providing undergraduate education, and that have a truly national reputation.”

A “College of Distinction” is nationally recognized by education professionals as an excellent school, strongly focused on teaching undergraduates, home to a wide variety of innovative learning experiences., an active campus with many opportunities for personal development, and highly valued by graduate schools and employers for its outstanding preparation.

Wayne State College is the only public institution listed from Nebraska and is featured in the publication for the second year in a row.

“Based on outside evaluation, Wayne State is succeeding in truly becoming a regional institution of distinction,” President Frye said.



Message from Deb Lundahl, Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Deb Lundahl, Director of Development and Alumni RelationsFall is such a time of energy and excitement on campus. Eager new students are beginning their classes. Upper classmen are preparing to head off to use their education. We have a record freshman class this year!  The word is spreading about what a great place Wayne State College is as evidenced by our rankings in U.S.News & World Report, Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings, and Colleges of Distinction

We were happy to have many of you return for Homecoming as Outstanding Alumni Awards were presented to Brad Weber, Rowan Wiltse, ReNae Kehrberg and Joseph Wall. Don and Diane Massman Soukup received the Alumni Service Award; Dave Bross, Ron Coles, Karen Hochstein and Jim Paige were inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Mother Nature smiled on us and we enjoyed temperatures in the eighties, which allowed many to witness improvements to campus. Thank you to all of you who are so generous to WSC.

We will soon begin our annual phonathon and WSC students will be calling you to update your contact information, share campus happenings, and ask you to consider making a donation to Wayne State College. We are very grateful for your continued support and pride in WSC.   

Please check our website at www.wsc.edu/alumni for information on upcoming events, reunions, and photos of past reunions.  We would enjoy learning what is happening in your life so we can share it in the “alumni notes” section of our publications, and if you include photos, that is even better. Visit www.wsc.edu/alumni and click on the “Alumni Updates” link, and note the Facebook link on that same page. Please continue to stay in touch; we love to hear from you. 

If you are back on campus, please stop by our office, in the Hahn Administration Building, Room 315, or call me at (402) 375-7209. Come, visit and experience the excitement of campus first hand.





Upcoming Alumni Events



Nov. 30 - Dec. 2

Madrigal Dinners

Dec. 9

President's Holiday Gala

Dec. 14




Jan. 20

Sun City, AZ Reunion

Jan. 27

Black and Gold Series
Russian National Ballet Theatre, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty

May 24

Sun City, AZ Reunion

June 1

Catbacker Golf - Wayne Country Club

July 19

Omaha Golf

Aug. 19

Dakota Dunes Golf, Dakota Dunes, SD






ALUMNI NOTES | Spring 2012

(Towns and cities listed on these pages are in Nebraska unless noted or generally understood. Efforts are made to keep our news current.)



Archie McPherran and his wife, Margaret “Peg”, observed their 67th wedding anniversary Aug. 27. Prior to retiring, Archie served as vice chancellor at California State Community Colleges. The couple has resided in Sacramento, Calif., since 1963.



Paul and Dorcas (Pederson ’62) Balcer, Bellevue, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary June 2 with a party hosted by their four children: Lorie Balcer, Julie (Balcer) Regan, John Balcer and Ann (Balcer) Kramer ’95.  WSC alumni Mona (Mosel) Snyder ’62 and Roger Balcer ’58 joined in the celebration. Paul and Dorcas met while teaching at Lyons prior to their move to Bellevue. Roger retired from his teaching career in 1990.




The 13th annual “WSC Pile Hall Gals” reunion was hosted by Angie (Dowling) Neuharth on July 20 at the Wisner Yacht Club, Wisner.  Attendees pictured are front row,  left, Barb Donze Peters, Omaha; Pearl (Siecke) Kander, Stanton; Darlene (Hjorth Frevert) Bowers, Wayne;  middle row, Eileen (Stueckrath) Kucera ’57, Bellwood; Jeanette (Jaeger) Vahle ’65, Pender; Norene (Ebel) Kuhr, Creston; Kathy (Ott) Haber ’61, Beemer; back row, Carol (Dibbert) Whipple ’62, Stanton; Judy (Bartak) Eggerling ’60, Neligh; Lonnie (Schmidt) Dinslage ’60, Elgin; Clara (Chambers) Heinemann ’60, Wayne; Angie (Dowling) Neuharth ’61, Wisner; LaVerne (Pagels) Hoogner, Blair; Emogene (Isom) Andrews ’72, Moorehead, Iowa, and Doris (Leiding) Kuester ’59, Wisner



Tom Hastings founded  TSL Cos. in 1981. TSL is a leader in the transportation industry, providing domestic and international freight handling. TSL Cos.’ divisions include Transportation Specialists Ltd., TranSpec Leasing, TSL Terminals, and TSL Logistics and International Logistics. The later entity was among 41 U.S. companies recognized at the White House in May as part of World Trade Week.  International Logistics was one of only four export service providers in the group that received the 50th annual Presidential “E” Award. Tom serves as president and CEO at the company headquarters building in Omaha.



Tammy J. Carlson, MSE ’95, serves as Title III Activities Coordinator at Northeast Community College, Norfolk. She resides in Wayne. 



Sara (Munson) Hutchison resides in Fairbury. She is employed as a sales representative for Prairie View Industries Food Service, Inc., Fairbury. Her son, Sheridan, is a first-year student at WSC and is a member of the Wildcat Marching Band. 



Kyle McCormick resides in Ogallala where he owns and operates Unique Fitness. He  worked as a certified nutrition and fitness consultant for Gold’s Gym Aerobic and Fitness Center before developing the Unique Fitness Holistic Wellness Guideline Pyramid. Kyle has published a book, “The Critical Need for Nutritional Supplementation and How to Do It”, which is available online and at local book stores. In addition to providing simple guidelines to help develop a nutritional supplementation program, the book  has dietary intake suggestions.



Stacey Holtz and Roy Eeten were united in marriage Oct. 6. Stacey is employed as an administrative assistant and privacy officer at Bethesda Christian Counseling, a non-profit mental health facility in Sioux Falls. The couple resides in Sioux Falls.



Derek Hantsbarger and his wife, Karen, announce the birth of Alyana Marysel on Sept. 18.  They reside in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Derek is employed as a fitness specialist at the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Fort Lauderdale. 



Jill (Grant, MSE ’02) and Roger Krienke, MSE ’07 announce the birth of son, Jacob Theodore, on July 30.  He is welcomed to their home in Columbus by siblings Mike (5) and Brooke (3).



Wendy Felber andNeil Kroegerwere united in marriage in July 2011.  The couple resides in Lincoln.  Wendy is employed at Lincoln Benefit Life as a case coordinator.



Laura J. Johnson was a high distinction graduate from A. T. Still School of Osteopathic Medicine, Phoenix, Ariz. She earned a doctorate of osteopathic medicine and concurrently a master’s degree in public health. She resides in Chicago while performing her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital,  Chicago. 



Jeremy Tosaya (MSE ’05) serves as the head soccer coach at Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, S.D.  He earned  a premier coaching diploma through the National Soccer Coaches Association of America with a “Distinguished Pass” score. Jeremy was a member of the US Youth Soccer Region II Olympic Development staff this past summer. He and his wife, Ashley, reside in Mitchell, S.D. 



Chibawanye and Rachel (Callaway ’05) Ene reside in Indianapolis, Ind., with their son, Benjamin (1).   Chibawanye is pursuing a medical degree at  IUPUI School of Medicine, Indianapolis. He has earned a doctorate degree in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, England. Rachel received a master’s degree from Eastern Illinois University in 2006. 



Jason Witzel was honored with the “Police Officer of the Year Award” by the Norfolk Police Department and Norfolk VFW Post 1644. He has been employed as a police officer for the city of Norfolk for six years. 



Joe and Denise (Diediker ’04) Dangberg announce the birth of Johnathan Joseph on April 25. They reside in Omaha while Joe completes his third-year of residency at  Clarkson Family Medicine. Joe signed a contract to practice medicine at the Pender Mercy Medical Clinic, Pender, beginning in August. 



Marie (Rafferty) Kucera and her husband, Warren,announce the birth of first child, Rylan Richard, on July 10. They reside in Lincoln. Marie is a program director at Jenny Craig. 



Chelsea Smith and Michael Kunce were united in marriage June 2011. The couple resides in Lincoln.  Chelsea is employed as an elementary teacher in the Lincoln Public Schools. 



Vincent and Cara (Boecker ’06, MBA ’11) Hoehne announce the birth of daughter, Arai Mlady Gail, on Aug. 19. They reside in Stanton. Vincent is the controller for New Victoria Inn Hotel Group. Cara is a business instructor at Northeast Community College, Norfolk.   



Dustin Nilius and his wife, Sara,reside in Omaha. He teaches at Omaha Public Schools and serves as head baseball coach at Wahoo High School.  The couple was married Aug. 11 in Omaha.



Sheena (Zoucha) Werts and her husband, Brent, announce the birth of son, Bennett Anthony, on Aug. 31.  He is welcomed to their home in Columbus by sister Katelyn (3). Sheena is employed as an insurance account specialist at Farm Credit Services of America.



Michael J. and Nicole (Rabe ’05) O’Brien announce the birth ofKyler David on July 3. They reside in West Point. 



Jesse and Shanda (Jochum ’09) Schindler announce the birth of Tenley Brynn on July 10. They reside in Elgin. Jesse is an agronomist at CVA and Shanda provides in-home daycare in the community. 



Jennifer Becker, Norfolk,is employed at Morton Magnet Middle School, Norfolk, as a family and consumer science teacher . Morton Middle School focuses on preparing students to succeed in college and in the business world. In addition to the academic classes offered at Morton, they offer select students Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID). AVID is a fourth- through twelfth-grade system to prepare students in the academic middle for four-year college eligibility. It has a proven track record in bringing out the best in students and in closing the achievement gap. 




  • Kermit N. Ambrose '35, (101), Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Feb. 24.
  • Hannah M. Doyle '40, (95), Omaha; July 13.
  • Virginia (Farr) Hamilton '40, (92), Lincoln; April 29.
  • Dorothy (Carey) Shaw '40, (93), Lincoln; July 26.
  • Verna Jean (Pruehs) Chapman '42, (89), Chula Vista, Calif.; June 5.
  • Betty (Nelson) Sawyer '45, (86), Norfolk; July 3.
  • Marguerite (Klanderud) Nelson '49, (83), Mapleton, Iowa; July 5.
  • Nancy (Anthony) Watson '49, (89), Fremont; July 25.
  • Jackie (Cronk) Haberberger '52, (79), Ammon, Idaho; Aug. 7.
  • Gordon P. McKay '52, (82), The Villages, Fla.; June 6.
  • Carl R. Johnson II ’53, MSE '60, (80), Tilden; Aug. 20.\
  • Florence "Peg" (Leapley) Tuomisto '56, (91), Tallahassee, Fla.; Oct 2.
  • Richard H. Dasenbrock '58, (74), Norfolk; July 13.
  • James W. Koehler '58, (84), Dubuque, Iowa.; April 22.
  • Wayne H. Wagner '61, (72), Pender; Oct. 9.
  • Phyllis (Dryak) Whisenand '62, (71), Aurora; Aug. 15.
  • Larry C. Faust '64, (73), Sioux City, Iowa; July 1.
  • Carolyn (Beck) Bornhoft '65, (69), Albuquerque, N.M.; Aug. 21.
  • Juanita E. Johnson '65, (67), Omaha; Oct. 12.
  • Bernard "Gee" Robinson '66, (69), Clarinda, Iowa; Aug. 7.
  • Evelyn M. (Kves) Kucera '68, (96), Verdigre; Aug. 21.
  • Virginia (Bishop) Reigle '70, Running Water, S.D.; Sept 22.
  • Marilyn (Hendricks) Bentley '71, (66), Dubuque, Iowa; July 4.
  • Rick Loock '72, (61), Lincoln; July 30.
  • Esther (Fuchs) Barjenbruch '73, (97), Columbus; Aug. 13.
  • Cheryl (Sieh) Gonzalez '80, (53), Okmulgee, Okla.; June 26.
  • Quinton M. Clem '87, (49), Salem, Ore.; Aug. 11.
  • Christopher E. Kelly '96, (38), Urbandale, Iowa; Aug. 15.