Wayne State College


Alumni eNewsletter | Spring 2012





Terry McClain '70 Delivers Commencement Address

photoTerry McClain, the senior vice president and chief financial officer of Valmont Industries, Inc., in Omaha, delivered the undergraduate commencement address May 5. McClain was honored May 4 with the naming of the Terry J. McClain Department of Business and Economics in the School of Business and Technology at Wayne State College. He is responsible for accounting, budgeting, internal audit, investor relations, tax and treasury activities of Valmont and its subsidiaries on a global basis.

He received his bachelor of science in business from Wayne State College in 1970 and an MBA from the University of South Dakota in 1971. 

McClain began his career as an instructor of business at Wayne State College. He joined Valmont Industries in 1973.  McClain has held progressively responsible positions within Valmont up through his current role as senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Faculty members in the Wayne State College School of Business and Technology hold him in high regard. The naming of the department after him recognizes his outstanding achievements in business, his financial support and his dedication to the growth and development of Wayne State.

“We are honored to be able to refer to the Business and Economics Department as the Terry J. McClain Department of Business and Economics,” said Dr. Vaughn Benson, dean of the School of Business and Technology. “Many of the faculty in the department have known Mr. McClain for many years and look upon him as a role model for our students.  His small town background and his strong work ethic have created a solid foundation for success.  Mr. McClain has shown that bright futures do begin at Wayne State College.”

McClain serves on the advisory board of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, the executive committee of Mid-America Boy Scouts, LFS Foundation of Nebraska, Finance Advisory Committee of Creighton University and the Wayne State Foundation Executive Committee.

McClain and his wife, Linda, are active in a variety of community activities, including the United Way and local youth support activities. They have two children and one grandchild.



Spring Graduation Ceremonies

photoWayne State College held commencement May 5 in Rice Auditorium for graduate students and in the Willow Bowl for undergraduate students.  A total of 464 degrees -- 352 undergraduates and 112 graduate degrees were conferred at the ceremonies by Wayne State President Curt Frye. Terry J. McClain, a 1970 graduate of Wayne State College, delivered the commencement address at the undergraduate ceremony.

Graduate Invocation
Ross Lafleur, the son of Lance and Jane Lafleur of Madison, Neb., delivered the invocation for graduate students. Lafleur completed his undergraduate degree at Wayne State College in May 2009. He is a second generation Wayne State College graduate. His mother, Jane, graduated from Wayne State College in 1974. Jack Lafleur, his brother, graduated from WSC in 2010 and Michael Lafleur, another brother, is a current Wayne State College junior.

Ross teaches junior high and high school Language Arts at North Bend Central Public Schools in North Bend, Nebraska. In addition to teaching, Lafleur coaches the North Bend Central speech team and directs plays, including the junior high play, competitive one-act play, and high school musical production. He is the drama club sponsor. With the master's degree in curriculum and instruction, Lafleur plans to continue to share his passion for literature, writing, and theater with his students.

Graduate Commencement Address
Trisha Hansen-Peters delivered the graduate ceremony commencement address. Hansen-Peters received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Wayne State College in 2004, with concentrations in public accounting and marketing.  In the fall of 2009, she was given the opportunity to return to Wayne State as a graduate assistant in the School of Business and Technology, where she teaches marketing, management, and other business related courses. She is graduating with her masters of business administration degree.

Hansen-Peters, a native of Wayne, is the daughter of Tim and Mary Hansen.  She and her husband, Tim, were married in December and reside in Wisner. She is employed as an associate real estate broker with 1st Realty Sales & Management in Wayne, and she looks forward to expanding her business in the Wayne area following graduation.  In her free time, she enjoys helping with the grain and livestock operations at her family's farm south of Wayne.

Undergraduate Invocation
Debra Lammers Harm gave the invocation at the undergraduate ceremony. She majored in mass communication with a journalism concentration, with speech communication and online media minors. The daughter of Delores Lammers and the late Robert Lammers, she was born in Pleasant Valley, Nebraska. She resides in Wayne with her two children, Cory and Cassie Harm, and works full time in the Wayne State College athletic department.

She is a member of Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society, the National Federation of Press Women and the Nebraska Press Women.

Undergraduate Commencement Address
Terry McClain, the senior vice president and chief financial officer of Valmont Industries, Inc., in Omaha, delivered the undergraduate commencement address. He is responsible for accounting, budgeting, internal audit, investor relations, tax and treasury activities of Valmont and its subsidiaries on a global basis.

He received his bachelor of science in business from Wayne State College in 1970 and an MBA from the University of South Dakota in 1971. 





Steven Elliott Receives State National Bank Teaching Excellence Award

photoSteven Elliott, associate professor of art and chairman of the art department, was presented with the State National Bank Teaching Excellence Award. This prestigious honor is awarded on the basis of rigorous standards that require a superior level of effective teaching. Elliott also was Wayne State's nominee for the Nebraska State College System George Rebensdorf Teaching Excellence Award.

Matt Ley, chief executive officer of State National Bank in Wayne, presented the award at the undergraduate commencement ceremony May 5. David Ley, the banks' chairman of the board, established the award in 1998 as a way of recognizing and strengthening outstanding teaching at Wayne State. David Ley and State National Bank of Wayne support the college in many ways, including scholarships and as a trustee of the Wayne State Foundation Board of Trustees.

Elliott came to Wayne State in 2003 after completing his bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence and his master of fine arts degree at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. This is his fourth year as department chair.

Though Elliott teaches a wide range of art classes at Wayne State, his passions are metalsmithing and casting. His large-scale sculptures and mixed-media works have been included in more than 60 exhibitions and collaborations in 23 states nationwide, including the ARC Gallery in Chicago and 516 ARTS in Albuquerque. Recent international exhibits include the Manoa Art Gallery in Honolulu and a collaboration with the Zentral Bibliothek in Zurich, Switzerland.

Elliott's nomination for the Teaching Excellence Award notes that his work as a colleague is uniformly praised throughout our campus, whether the praise is regarding his exceptional teaching, exceptional work as a department chair, leading significant academic assessment activities, work as a committee member, or as a mentor to junior faculty.





Art Students Take New York by Storm

photoWayne State professors of art Pearl Hansen and Steve Elliott led a group of 10 art students on a trip to New York for an exhibit titled “Wayne State College Art Forum in New York City”. The exhibit, which was held April 14, came about through collaboration with Omaha and New York City artist Terry Rosenberg.

Student exhibitors Danielle Bice, Kathryn Bergmeier, Chloe Bloomfield, Crystal Bredehoft, Bailey Dahlkoetter, Heidi Hamilton, Demi Harlan, Travis Hoffart, Tyson Koehn and Rebecca Lewis traveled to New York City to present their work and participate in an open forum, exhibition and exchange of ideas at Rosenberg's Soho studio and exhibition space. The event also included critiques of the students' art by invited professional artists living in New York.

“While I was surprised to hear that nearly half of the students we traveled to NYC with had never flown on a plane before, I was not surprised to see how well their artwork was received when we installed their exhibit in Soho,” Elliott said. “Through this opportunity, they were able to present their work to a group of highly successful NYC-based artists, writers, and critics. The result was an excellent exchange of ideas and thoughtful commentary. Above all, I believe these students now fully understand how important it is to have their own direction in their work, rather than trying to emulate what is popular in the art world today.”

Rosenberg has explored the human form in motion for more than 20 years with a unique emphasis on dance. His paintings and drawings have been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. His work can be found in numerous distinguished museum collections. Working directly from figures in rehearsal or in improvised movement, he integrates the explosive energy of dance with the emotional intensity of action painting, creating a synthesis of light, color and dynamic structure. His focus has included many leading dance groups such as: American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. One of Rosenberg's pieces is part of the One Percent for Art Collection at the College Center in South Sioux City. He will exhibit his works at Wayne State in November.

Claudia DeMonte, another of the artists to provide a critique of the student exhibit, has more than 60 one-person shows and 300 group exhibitions nationally and internationally. DeMonte is also the curator of "Women of the World: A Global Collection of Art." This traveling exhibition, with accompanying books, includes works of women from 177 countries dealing with the images of women. For 33 years, DeMonte has served on the faculty of the University of Maryland, where she was named Distinguished Scholar Teacher and Professor Emerita. 

DeMonte, who had a solo exhibit open at the June Kelly Gallery in Soho that same weekend, attended the student reception with her husband, sculptor Ed McGowin.  DeMonte and Rosenberg noted that they were highly impressed with the quality of the Wayne State College student artwork that was on exhibit. 

Jan Castro, arts consultant at Sculpture Magazine, commented that it was refreshing to see the Wayne State College art and design students had their own personal direction with their work, rather than trying to produce works that mirror contemporary art. Sculpture is an international, monthly magazine dedicated to all forms of contemporary sculpture. It contains provocative criticisms, knowledgeable technical discussions and timely exploration of new materials and techniques.

Painter and sculptor Claudia Alvarez, another of the critics invited to the event, focuses much of her work on investigating themes of childhood. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, she immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of three. She spent most of her life in California until 2005, when she was awarded a residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha. Her time is now divided between Omaha and New York City. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis and her MFA from California College of Arts in San Francisco. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S., Europe and Mexico.

Heidi Hamilton, one of the graduating seniors in the group who went to New York City, recently had her sculptures accepted into national juried sculpture competitions at Washburn University and the Downtown Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit in Olathe, Kansas. Hamilton received multiple master of fine arts teaching assistantship offers to study sculpture at several major universities in the Midwest.  She has decided on Kansas State University for her MFA, where she will continue to be a Wildcat.

As president of the Wayne State Visual Arts Club, Hamilton was part of a collaborative group of WSC students who were recently awarded a commission for a sculpture installation project titled "Art in the Woods", which  will be exhibited at the arbor day farm in Nebraska City this summer. Submissions were received from 35 artists spanning eight U.S. states and Canada, with media that ranged from stained glass and steel to willow branches and ceramics. The exhibit opens Saturday, June 9 and will remain open through 2012.

“When the Art Club was awarded the 'Art in the Woods' sculpture commission late this past spring, the students involved with the project all looked at each other and said, 'So when are we going to get this done?'” Elliott said. “With final exams rapidly approaching, they decided the only way to complete the project on a professional level was to come back after graduation to finish it. So, that's exactly what they did, alumni and all. They finished it, and it turned out to be a successful project. Seeing the camaraderie that has developed between these students (some now alumni) has been a very rewarding experience for me.”

Wayne State's group exhibit is modeled on “helicopter” maple seeds that spin and dance as they float to the ground. The Arbor Day Farm's Web site notes that “Seeds in the Round: Intersection of Nature and Viability”, provides a larger-than-life perspective on these familiar and elegant forms. This piece is the only Art in the Woods installation that was created by a team of collaborating artists.






Dr. Vaughn Benson Receives Professional Award

Dr. Vaughn Benson, Dean of the School of Business and Technology at Wayne State College, was selected as the 2012 recipient of the John L. Green Award for Excellence in Business Education at the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) annual conference held April 18-20 in Kansas City, Mo.

The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions that advance the cause of academic quality in business education in a manner consistent with the IACBE's “Characteristics of Excellence in Business Education.” The award is named for Dr. John L. Green, Jr., President Emeritus of the IACBE, who spent most of his life helping others to achieve excellence in business education.

Business programs at Wayne State College are accredited by IACBE, an internationally recognized, prominent accrediting body for business and business-related degree programs in four-year and graduate level institutions. Accreditation recognizes the achievement of quality in academic business programs. The accreditation process is one means of making certain graduates are well-equipped to join the business world.

The IACBE was founded in 1997 and is the leader in mission-driven and outcomes-based programmatic accreditation in business for student-centered colleges and universities throughout the world. The IACBE's mission is to promote and recognize excellence in business education in institutions of higher education worldwide, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, through specialized accreditation of business programs.

The IACBE's World Headquarters are located in Lenexa, Kansas, with a representative office in Paris, France.

For more information, please visit the IACBE’s website at www.iacbe.org.




Dr. Daryl Wilcox Honored for Work

Dr. Daryl Wilcox, Wayne State College professor in the School of Education and Counseling, was awarded the Nebraska Association of Special Education Supervisors (NASES) Distinguished Service Award at a conference, titled "The Breakthrough Coach and Communicating for Efficiency,'' by her former student, Stuart Clark of ESU #1, on April 20 at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln.

"It was an honor for me to be recognized by my former students, and the school administrators who have arranged for the WSC special education majors to experience first-hand instruction during their clinical experiences or student teaching,'' Wilcox said. "Please know that I did not earn this honor by myself. Most of all, it highlighted Wayne State College. The excellent professors at WSC, the public school personnel who dedicate their knowledge, ability and time to teach the pre-service educators are the persons who really prepare the WSC special educators.''

Wilcox has earned degrees at the University of Kansas, Pittsburg State University, University of Kansas and Baker University.

Her teaching interests include learning styles, early childhood and special education. Her research interests include mild and moderately handicapped students' needs, learning disabilities and styles of learning.




Dr. Ron Holt Attends ‘Bully’ Screening at The White House

Dr. Ron Holt '89 attended a screening of the movie Bully on April 20 at The White House. The event was held in the Eisenhower Building of The White House complex. Approximately 150 invited guests from around the country attended this screening.  The event included a question-and-answer session with the filmmaker and the film's cast.
Bully, originally titled The Bully Project, is a 2011 documentary film about bullying in U.S. schools. Directed by Lee Hirsch, the film follows the lives of five students who face bullying on a daily basis.

“A reception following the Q & A allowed me the opportunity to personally meet most of the cast,” Holt said. “I also had the privilege of meeting some of our government leaders and their staff, including the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.  I plan to follow up with these contacts to further discuss how I can be of assistance in their efforts to combat bullying.”

Holt is a physician practicing full time clinical psychiatry in South San Francisco, Calif. He regularly returns to Wayne State College to lecture on the impact of homophobia on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) youth and on society at large.  Initially, the target audience was education and psychology majors, who became teachers, counselors and coaches. He emphasizes the danger of allowing homophobia in the classroom as it leads to low self-esteem, increased risk for drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide in GLBT youth. 

“It was an absolute honor and privilege to visit The White House to screen this incredible movie,” Holt said. “Together we can make a difference in the lives of our youth through education and compassion.”

For more information about Holt's speaking engagements and work on GLBT issues: www.audacityofpride.com




College to Host Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence from Russian Federation

Wayne State College has been awarded one of only 50 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence grants for the 2012-2013 academic year. The grant will bring an eminent Russian scholar to campus and open up the possibility of further partnerships with educational institutions in the Russian Federation.

The Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence will be Dr. Dmitry I. Pobedash, an associate professor of international relations at Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg, Russia.  He will teach classes on world politics, international relations, and Russian language and culture at Wayne State during the 2012-13 academic year.  In addition to teaching his classes, he will visit area schools and community organizations, present lectures to the campus and community, and work with the Wayne State College International Student Association.  Dr. Pobedash will also assist Wayne State College in establishing a partnership with Ural Federal University that will allow faculty and students from both institutions to study and teach at the other school. He will begin his residency Aug. 15 and will remain until May 15, 2013.

The Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (SIR) Program, sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, enables U.S. colleges and universities to host foreign academics to lecture on a wide range of subject fields for a semester or academic year. Preference is given to institutions developing an international agenda and that have been underserved in opportunities for international experiences.

“We are very fortunate to have been awarded this grant,” said Dr. Jon Dalager, Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences at Wayne State College.  “We will be hosting an eminent teacher and scholar from the Russian Federation who will not only teach several classes, but will make himself or herself available to student groups, community organizations and local schools to discuss international issues, Russian  culture and language.  Through this relationship, we will also attempt to create a partnership with the scholar's home institution so that our students can study in Russia, and that Russian students can study at Wayne State College.” 

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  The Fulbright Program has provided nearly 300,000 participants – chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential – with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.




New York Reunion and Yamaha Concert

A reunion was held for WSC alumni and friends May 8 at Yamaha Artist Services in New York City. The event included a performance by concert pianist Paul Sheftel, who performed live in New York, and remotely in Wayne, though a Yamaha concert piano in both locations. Sheftel is on the faculty of The Julliard School. Dr. Linda Christensen, WSC music department chair, concluded the concert by performing in Ramsey Theatre in Wayne and transmitting to the piano in New York. The piano used in Wayne was purchased through an ongoing fundraising campaign aimed at replacing and refurbishing the music department’s pianos.

Those in attendance at the New York event, seated: Michele (Ogan) Schioppo ’81 and John Bressler.  Standing: Sokol Kongoli ’96, MBA ’98, Dominic Schioppo, John Gallop III ’02, ‘07, Margo Sandahl ’93, Phyllis Conner, vice president for development and Deb Lundahl, director of development and alumni relations.




Athletic Department Honors Top Student Athletes

The Wayne State College athletic department honored its top student athletes for the 2011-12 school year April 30 during the annual athletic honors banquet held at the WSC Student Center and sponsored by Ameritas.  Seven major awards were handed out at the banquet, along with Most Valuable Players announced for each sport. 

Senior baseball player Mike Bisenius was named Male Athlete of the Year while senior women's basketball standout Ashley Arlen collected Female Athlete of the Year honors. Freshman athlete of the year honors went to football player Abram Walker and women's basketball player Ashton Yossi while senior softball player Stephanie Schmidt received the eighth annual Wildcat Inspiration Award.

In addition, senior baseball player Jake Ritzdorf and senior volleyball player Mindy Moody received the Bob Cunningham Scholar-Athlete Awards.  The Cunningham Awards, named after longtime supporter Bob Cunningham, are presented to the department's top male and female scholar athletes.

Bisenius, senior outfielder from Sioux City, Iowa (Sioux City Heelan High School), is a four-year starter for the Wildcat baseball team who will rank as one of the school's top power hitters.  Last season, Bisenius earned ABCA/Rawlings Third Team All-American honors with a .401 average with eight homers and 48 RBI's.  He ranks fourth in career homers at WSC with 31 and also ranks in the top seven in five other categories. Bisenius was also drafted last summer by the Washington Nationals in the 48th round.

Arlen, a 6-2 senior forward from Cascade, Iowa (Cascade High School), helped the Wildcat women’s basketball team to a 32-3 record this season and the school's first-ever trip to the Elite Eight.  Arlen earned numerous All-American honors and was named the Women's DII Bulletin National Player of the Year after averaging 18.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, helping WSC to a second straight NSIC regular season title, NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament title and first-ever Central Region crown.

Walker, a 6-3 265 pounder from Omaha, Nebraska (Omaha North High School), started all 11 games at right tackle last season for the Wildcat football team, helping WSC to a 7-4 record and a fifth straight winning season.

Yossi, a 5-8 guard from Grimes, Iowa (Dallas Center-Grimes High School), averaged 8.1 points per game off the bench for the Wildcat women's basketball team, ranking ninth in the NSIC in three point field goals per game for the 32-3 Wildcats.  She had 15 games of 10 or more points this year, highlighted by a season-high 20 points vs. Northern State in the first round of the NSIC Tournament, and was named to the NSIC Sanford Health Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team.

Schmidt, a senior softball player from Columbus, Neb. (Lakeview High School), overcame acute myeloid leukemia last season, spending numerous weeks in the hospital while undergoing up to four months of chemotherapy.  She returned to the Wildcat softball team this season to post a 3-2 record as a relief pitcher with one save.

Ritzdorf, a senior from Elkhorn, Neb. (Elkhorn High School), maintains a stellar 3.72 grade point average majoring in social science education.  On the field, Ritzdorf has a career-best .357 average with three homers and 31 RBI's while ranking second on the team in hits with 50 and has started at third base for the Wildcats for 3 ½ seasons.  Jake is also involved in numerous community service projects for the Wildcat baseball team.

Moody, a senior from Sioux City, Iowa (Sioux City Heelan High School), carries a 3.90 grade point average and has won numerous academic awards, including NSIC Fall All-Academic, DII ADA Academic Achievement and the NSIC Myles Brand Academic with Distinction Award.  On the court, Moody was a four year starter for the Wildcats and had over 200 kills all four seasons at WSC, playing in four NCAA Tournament teams.




Women’s Basketball Makes Run for National Title

The Wayne State College women's basketball team ended the 2012 basketball season ranked fourth in the final USA Today/ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll released March 27 by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.  It's the highest ever ranking to end the season for the Wildcats, who were 32-3 this season, surpassing the previous best season-ending ranking of 14th set last season.

The season also was marked by several individual honors as Ashley Arlen was named the Women's Division II Bulletin Player of the Year and Chris Kielsmeier of Wayne State College was named the Russell Athletic/Women's Basketball Coaches Association Region 7 Coach of the Year.

Wayne State captured a second straight Northern Sun Conference regular season title this season while also winning the NSIC/Sanford Health Women's Basketball Tournament along with the school's first-ever Central Region title, resulting in the Wildcats' first-ever trip to the Elite Eight.  WSC was ranked #1 in the final regular season coaches' poll, the first-ever top national ranking for the program.

WSC finished the season with a school record 32 wins before falling to Bentley (Mass.) 72-67 in the first round of the Elite Eight in March 20 in San Antonio, Texas.

Ashley Arlen was named the Women's Division II Bulletin Player of the Year.  The publication has named a Player of the Year every season since 1994 and it's the first time a player from Wayne State College has received the honor.

Arlen, a 6-2 senior forward from Cascade, Iowa, led the Wildcats to a second straight Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) regular season title, Sanford Health/NSIC Women's Basketball Tournament title and the school's first-ever Central Region championship this season, averaging an NSIC-best 18.1 points per game to go along with 9.4 rebounds a contest (2nd-NSIC).  She made 48.1 percent of her shots from the field (6th-NSIC) and 79.8 percent at the charity stripe (10th-NSIC) while also ranking fifth in the league in blocked shots per game (1.66).  Arlen had 15 double-doubles on the season and finished her Wildcat career ranking third all-time in scoring (1,724 points), fourth in blocked shots (124) and sixth in rebounds (821). 

Other post season honors this season for Arlen include NSIC Player of the Year for a second straight season; Most Valuable Player of the NSIC/Sanford Health Women's Basketball Tournament, Daktronics Central Region Player of the Year for a second straight season, WBCA/State Farm and Daktronics First Team All-American and WBCA/State Farm National Player of the Year finalist. 

“Ashley had a tremendous year on the court and led her team to the Elite Eight,” said Women's Division II Bulletin editor Gary Rubin.  “There was stiff competition for this award but she proved she is the most deserving for her performance all year.”

Coach Chris Kielsmeier of Wayne State College was named the Russell Athletic/WBCA (Women's Basketball Coaches Association) Region 7 Coach of the Year at the Elite Eight Banquet in San Antonio, Texas.

Under Kielsmeier, the Wildcats have won 46 straight games at Rice Auditorium, going unbeaten at home the last three seasons, and earned the school's first-ever #1 national ranking this season. 

In his fourth season at Wayne State, Kielsmeier has guided the Wildcats to three straight NCAA Division II national tournament appearances while setting a school record this season with 32 wins.  He was named the NSIC Coach of the Year this season for the second time in three seasons and has a record of 99-24 with the Wildcats.




Message from Deb Lundahl, Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Deb Lundahl, Director of Development and Alumni RelationsThe weather on May 5 made us hold our breath this year wondering if rain would prevent us from celebrating commencement in the Willow Bowl.  By the afternoon, 90 degree temperatures had us fanning ourselves as we welcomed the 352 graduates receiving bachelor's degrees.  Terry J. McClain, a 1970 graduate, delivered the commencement address. Master's degrees were presented in Rice Auditorium that morning to 112 graduate students.

The Willow Bowl renovation will begin this month and we hope to have it completed before the May 2013 Commencement.  We appreciate all the donations to the Willow Bowl Restoration Fund.  Thanks to you, the Willow Bowl will continue to be a special and unique place in Northeast Nebraska.

May was a month of celebrations. In addition to graduation, we had two dedications! Terry McClain was honored May 4 with the naming of the Terry J. McClain Department of Business and Economics in the School of Business and Technology at Wayne State College. On May 29, Kenneth and the late Carolyn Eng were honored with the Dr. Kenneth and Carolyn McDonald Eng Biochemistry Lab in the Carhart Science Building.

We have two golf events this summer; we hope you will join us for one or both of them. The Omaha Golf event will be Friday, July 20, at Eagle Hills Golf Course. Please note that we have changed from a Saturday to a Friday this year. Also, the Dakota Dunes Golf Course has reopened after devastation of the Missouri River flood last year, and we will have a golf event there Aug. 27. 

We will celebrate Homecoming Sept. 27-30 this year. Watch for the Homecoming brochure and check the Web site for more details. There will be a WSC Alumni and Friends tour to Spain Oct. 17-29, with a taste of Morocco and Portugal.  To download brochures and fliers for all of these events, please go to www.wsc.edu/alumni and click on the appropriate links on the right. While you are on the alumni site, please note we have a Wayne State College Alumni Facebook page. We hope you will use this page to stay in touch with other alumni and to see what’s happening at WSC.
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 your photos, then that is even better. Go to www.wsc.edu/alumni and click on the “Alumni Updates” link. Please continue to stay in touch; we love to hear from you. If you are back on campus, please stop by our temporary office, in the Recreation Center, room 206F, or call me at (402) 375-7209. Come visit and experience the excitement of campus first hand.





Upcoming Alumni Events



June 22

Denver Reunion - Hosted by Herb and Sherry Mignery at the Herb Mignery Studio

July 13-15

Chicken Days

July 20

Omaha Golf Reunion - Eagle Hills Golf Course

August 27

Dakota Dunes Golf Reunion

Sep. 12 - Oct. 5

WSC Art & Design Alumni Exhibit

September 27

Scholarship Luncheon

September 28-30


October 17-29

Alumni and Friends Tour Spain - June deadline registration
For more information please call Phyllis Conner 402-375-7543 or Deb Lundahl 402-375-7209.

December 14






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.)



Ron (MSE ’66) and Karen (Price ’72) Jones have retired to Bella Vista, Ark. They will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year. They plan to join their four children and their families in Wayne and partake in the activities during the Wayne Chicken Days celebration in July.



Randy Carlson is president of Carlson Financial Group and was recognized by General Agents and Manager's Association (GAMA) International as a recipient of its prestigious Gold Award. GAMA is the professional organization of leaders and managers in the insurance and financial services industry worldwide. Randy has been involved in management for 33 years and works with agents and agencies primarily in Nebraska and Kansas. He also serves as an executive general agent for the Transamerica Agency Network.  Randy and his wife, Lorraine, reside in North Platte.



Vincent Hammerl was recognized by the Knights of Columbus in Kansas as the Knight of the Year.  The award identifies the best of the best for involvement and years of service in the Catholic fraternal family organization. Vincent has retired from a 30-year career as a rural postal carrier. He and his wife, Sandra (Nash ’76) have relocated to Carolina Shores, N.C.  Sandra retired from a career as a claims representative with the Social Security Administration.



Dan Stalp and Jim Mathisco-wrote a novel, The Reunion. The Reunion is a parable of four classmates who return to their hometown for their 20-year high school reunion.The gap widens between the characters in terms of satisfaction and the impact to those around them. Dan lives in the Kansas City area with his wife, Lisa, and their children: Sydney, Mackenzie, Jackson and Dominic. Dan is president of Sandler Training, Overland Park, Kan., and a transformational speaker and author on sales, sales management and leadership topics.



Paul Pearson and Heather Callahan were united in marriage and reside near Logan, Iowa.  Paul was promoted to senior territory representative for QIAGEN, Germantown, Md.  He represents major academic, government and biotech accounts in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.



Terry and Traci (Abbenhause) Gall reside in Basehor, Kan., with their children, Sydney (10) and Logan (7).  Terry accepted the human resource director position at Rockhill Insurance, a division of State Auto in Kansas City. 



Ardis Boldenow and Jason Semple were married in October. Ardis is an early head start teacher at the Boys and Girls Home, Sioux City, Iowa. The couple resides in Sioux City.  



Aaron and Brenda (Russell) Houser reside in Henderson, Iowa, with their children, Russell, Adam and Amanda. Aaron is the vice president of commercial lending at Council Bluffs Savings Bank, Council Bluffs, Iowa. Brenda is a math teacher at Griswold Community Schools, Griswold, Iowa.



Chris Sobczyk was promoted to district sales manager at Dart Container Corp. He is responsible for leading the company’s sales teams in the Georgia and central and eastern Tennessee markets. Chris, his wife, Leigh, and son, Connor, have relocated to Atlanta. 



David Shabram and his wife, Kristeen are happy to announce the birth of Stella Elaine on Jan. 17. They reside in Omaha. 



Steve Klein, Jr. and his wife, Beth, reside in Plattsmouth. Steve is a math teacher and basketball coach at Bellevue West High School, Bellevue.



Paula Theilen and Martin Von Seggern were united in marriage Aug. 27. The couple lives near Scribner.  Paula is employed at Hugo Plumbing & Heating, West Point.



Angela Gnirk and Phillip Ruskamp were united in marriage Sept. 3. The couple resides near Hoskins. 



Seth Watson and his wife, Rebecca, announce the birth of daughter, Annabelle Marie, on Oct. 28. They reside in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.



Deann (Settles) Paulson submitted this photo of WSC alumni that was taken after the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s graduation ceremonies May 5 at the Civic Center, Omaha.  From left to right with their residency plans: Brian Jundt ’08, residency in family medicine at UNMC, Omaha;  Dena (Brock) Jundt ’08 residency in family medicine at UNMC, Omaha; Deann (Settles) Paulson ’06 residency  in OB-GYN at Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis.; Tanna (Walford) Albin ’07, residency in family medicine at St. Vincent Hospital Center, Indianapolis, Ind.;  Leann (Bolte) Heinrichs ’08 residency in family medicine at UNMC, Omaha; Shea Welsh ’08 residency in family medicine at Lincoln Medical Education Partnership, Lincoln.



Tanna (Walford) Albin and her husband, Matt, graduated from UNMC College of Medicine, Omaha, with doctor of medicine degrees and have relocated to Carmel, Ind. Each will be joining a residency program, Tanna at St. Vincent Hospital for Family Medicine and Matt at Indiana University for Radiology. 



Kristina (Weinrich) Nolze and her husband, Jared, are happy to announce the birth of their first child, Lilian Claire, on Aug. 28. They reside in Clearwater. 




  • Irene (Rose) Gray '36, (96), Lincoln; March 20.

  • Marion (Seymour) Petersen '39, (94), Carmel, Calif.; May 15.

  • Lois (Dotson) Rusk Lane '40, (93), Villisca, Iowa; Feb. 1.

  • Cyril R. Mill '41, (92), Reston, Va.; April 13.

  • Genevieve (Quintard) Baker '42, (90), Whiting, Iowa; Feb. 22.

  • Dorothy (Marty) Reibold '45, (89), Irving, Texas; Sept. 8.

  • Robert L. Jacobson '49, (86), Arvada, Colo.; Oct. 30.

  • Harold W. Osbon '49, (86), Lincoln; Dec. 23.

  • Dorothy (Hurlbert) Rees '50, (81), Carroll; Feb. 2.

  • Duane H. Luebe '53, MSE '59, (81), Clinton, Iowa; May 1.

  • James F. Hypse '54, (76), Spencer, Iowa; April 14.

  • Neva (Dempster) Pearson '54, (76), Phoenix, Ariz.; Feb. 25.

  • Thomas P. Burke '56, (81), Sioux City, Iowa; April 30.

  • Kenneth F. Hamm '57, (77), Fremont; April 12.

  • Clinton G. Carr, MSE '60, (65), Lyons; March 21.

  • Jessie (Gemmell) Back '64, (93), Terre Haute, Ind.; Jan. 27.

  • Charles W. Hixson '66, (65), Santa Fe, N.M.; March 10.

  • Irene (Dangberg) Kant '66, (95), Norfolk; Feb. 8.

  • Grace (Kuester) Brodecky '67, (92), Howells; April 13.

  • Jack Bellew '68, (68), Jordan, Ark.; Jan. 31.

  • Elwin "John" Lovell,  MSE '68, (76), South Sioux City; Feb. 21.

  • Marian (Marlatt) Klima '68, MSE '75 (80), Pilger; Feb. 19.

  • Winifred (Raasch) Stratton '68, (82), Norfolk; March 6.

  • James E. Ahrens '69, (65), San Antonio, Texas; March 18.

  • Gerald "Gerry" Schlueter '70, (63), Lake Park, Minn.; Oct. 6.

  • Terry D. Hamer '74, (59), Sioux City, Iowa; April 16.

  • Howard B. Peters '76, MSE '77, (65), Olathe, Kan.; Feb. 4.

  • Agnes (Bygland) Kettelson '83, (90), Albion; March 29.

  • Sherry Thomas '83, (52), Ainsworth; Jan. 9.

  • Paul B. Guerne '84, (49), Lincoln; Nov. 4.

  • David L. Renninger '85, (48), Omaha; Oct. 29.

  • Donna (Zierke) Lewis '95, (71), Pierce; March 13.

  • Joyce Vogel '04, (48), Battle Creek; Feb. 2.


Friends We Will Miss

  • Warren A. Cook, (65), Lincoln; March 25.  

  • Sharon (Wray) Thomas, (69), Loup City, formerly of Wayne; April 26. She began teaching at WSC in 1968 and taught in various positions until her retirement in 2006. She was named WSC Social Sciences Outstanding Faculty Member in 1989.

  • William "Bill" Van Arsdale IV, (37), Wayne; May 5. He worked as a reference librarian at the WSC U.S. Conn Library and served as an adjunct instructor at WSC since 2006.