Fall/Winter 2020-21 Mileposts

December 17th, 2020


Benjamin Bergey ‘11, professor of music, is one of two awardees of the Young Alum of the Year Award at Christopher Dock High School.

Sarah Bixler ‘02, instructor at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, was ordained in the ministry of Virginia Mennonite Conference in October. Sarah holds an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary and is completing her PhD in practical theology there as well.

Stefano Colafranchesci, professor of mathematics, was awarded a Jeffress Trust Award of $100,00 to fund a research project, “Improving the State-of-the-art of Particle Detectors by Using a Novel Additive Manufacturing Technique and by Developing Computational Methods for Performance Analysis Testing.”

David Evans, professor of history and intercultural studies and director of cross-cultural programs at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, published an article in Christianity Today titled “Only the Right Questions Have Answers.” The article looks at racism and racial inequity in America as an institutional problem rather than an interpersonal one.

Ann Graber Hershberger ‘76, professor emeritus of nursing, began her new role as the executive director of Mennonite Central Committee U.S. this fall.

Clair Mellinger ‘64, professor emeritus of biology, has been nominated for the Virginia Ornithological Society’s Mitchell A. Byrd Award, which recognizes outstanding scientific achievement in the field of ornithology. He was nominated by Dr. John Spahr, who noted his extensive teaching career at EMU, involvement with the VSO for decades, membership with local Rockingham Bird Club, participation in breeding bird surveys and efforts with the Northern Saw-Whet Owl banding project.

Doug Graber Neufeld, professor of biology and director of the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, has been appointed the chair of the Mennonite World Conference’s new Creation Care Task Force.

Alyse Lehrke, professor of leadership and management, defended her dissertation titled “Making Work-Life Policies and Perceptions Public: An examination of corporate websites and employee ratings of work-life balance” in September. She is completing a doctoral degree in strategic leadership from James Madison University.

Barbara Wheatley, professor of education, is working with two professors at James Madison University, on a grant integrating science in literacy blocks. The research includes creating curriculum and lessons, then observing teachers using both in the classroom. Their findings will be presented at an upcoming conference of the Literacy Research Association.



In the spring of 1970, 16 ambitious young women were the first graduates of EMC’s new nursing program. Fifty years later, nine of them gathered over Zoom to swap stories of careers and degrees, relationships, births, and losses.

Cynthia Toman ‘70, a retired professor of nursing living in Ottawa, Canada, spent two years tracking everyone down to invite them to the reunion. With the help of Yvonne Yousey ‘70 and Pat Powell Tiller ‘70, she assembled a 50-page booklet with updates on each graduate’s life. The group then met virtually in October, logging on from Oregon to France.

After just an email or two, Toman said she was chatting with her classmates “like we were back in school,” remembering whose clinical uniform “was too short” or the time they practiced giving one another injections.

The educational foundation laid at EMU prepared her for how the rest of her career would unfold. “I think it totally changed my life and set me on a path of service, and helped me to see my work as an extension of service – to see that it was more than earning a paycheck. It was about carrying out my faith in the process of caring for people, and our lives were never the same,” she said.

Toman was a critical care nurse, then earned a PhD and taught at the University of Ottawa.

Professor Melody Cash met some of these alumni during a “Nursing Through the Decades” panel also held during Homecoming weekend. “I was moved by their passion for nursing and so impressed by the impact they have had on the nursing profession, the healthcare system, and the world!” she said.


Current CJP student Isaiah Dottin-Carter, Barbara Robbins MA ‘11 (conflict transformation), Professor Carl Stauffer, and David Nyiringabo MA ‘20 (conflict transformation) were among eight circlekeepers leading restorative justice healing circles at Divine Unity Community Church in Harrisonburg. The circles took place over four weeks in August.


Hannah Chappell-Dick ‘16, Michaela Mast ‘18, and Abigail Shelly ‘20 joined Joanna Friesen, a seminary student and assistant coach for the cross-country and triathlon teams, for a 500- mile bicycle trip this summer, traversing the Blue Ridge Parkway from its southern end in North Carolina to where it becomes Skyline Drive in Afton, Virginia.


EMU’s 2020 retirees were recognized at a late October virtual reception:

  • Rachel J. Diener ‘74, director of the Early Learning Center, 27 years of service;
  • Linda W. Gnagey, director of the Academic Success Center, 20 years;
  • MIriam Z. Hill ‘92, MDiv ‘09, administrative assistant in Facilities Management, 17 years;
  • Julia M. Hottinger ‘74, custodian in Auxiliary Services, 15 years;
  • Betty R. Lee, lead custodian in Auxiliary Services, 16 years;
  • Gretchen H. Maust ‘73, MA ‘04 (counseling), administrative assistant for Visual and Communication Arts Department, 30 years;
  • Sharon M. Miller, assistant professor and administrative director of the Shenandoah Valley Preparatory Music Program, 30 years of service;
  • Stuart W. Showalter ‘67, associate director in development, 12 years;
  • Linda E. Witmer ‘73, associate professor and director of the RN-BS Program in Lancaster, 15 years of service.


A state-of-the-art pediatric manikin named Floyd arrived on campus this fall. The patient care simulator is named after the late alumnus Floyd Zehr ’54, who taught physics and astronomy at Westminster College in Pennsylvania for 35 years. His wife, Pearl, donated the funds for the purchase.

Investing in the education of future nurses is deeply important to Pearl – she taught nursing at Youngstown State University, and then worked as a substitute school nurse for a few years into her retirement. All of Pearl and Floyd’s children are also connected to his alma mater – David Zehr ’78, Dr. Kenton Zehr ’83, Mary Ann Zehr, an adjunct writing instructor at EMU, and Dr. Bonnie Zehr ’86.

“My children thought that [donation] would be nice,” Pearl said. “I had a wonderful career, and I’m very pleased to have been able to have donated.”

The little Floyd is modeled after a 5-year-old child, and is “very realistic,” said Professor Audrey Myers. He emits realistic heart and lung sounds that reflect different ailments. He can speak, move his head and eyes, and cry tears. His skin tone changes to mimic conditions like poor oxygenation, jaundice, and fever.

“Students are able to start intravenous access on Floyd, administer medications, and complete many other nursing skills,” Myers explained. “Floyd also is able to respond to interventions that the students carry out, which gives them immediate feedback. It is fun to see how they react to his child-like statements and expressions.”

Myers said that, even when there isn’t a global pandemic going on, “pediatric hospital rotations are extremely difficult to find for nursing students,” so the practice they get working with Floyd is especially valuable.

Professor Laura Yoder, director of the undergraduate nursing program, said the manikin also allows students to get comfortable with significant clinical situations that are relatively rare, such as hypoglycemic events, allergic reactions, or cardiac arrest.



Virginia M. Sharp ‘40, Goshen, Ind., is retired from a 30-year career teaching elementary school. She earned her master’s degree in education from Central Michigan University in 1964.

D. Rohrer Eshleman ‘45, Lancaster, Pa., is retired from a career in health advocacy on end-of-life issues and natural dying. Rohrer’s life story is the subject of a 2011 biography, Son of the Wind, written by his daughter Leanne Eshleman Benner.


Henry Weaver ‘50, Goshen, Ind., is retired from teaching chemistry at Goshen College and the University of California.

Ruth Rudy ‘55, Manheim, Pa., is retired from a 32-year career in elementary education in six states and Canada. She is married to Carl Rudy ‘54.

Ruth Simpson ‘55, Royersford, Pa., is retired from a career in nursing, massage, and reflexology.

Lorna Sirtoli ‘55, Cortland, N.Y., is a self-employed cake artist.

Laura Weaver ‘55, Evansville, Ind., is retired from teaching English at the University of Evansville.

Keith, class of ‘59, and Ellen Slaubaugh Helmuth, class of ‘59, Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada, received the Lifetime Service Award from Eastern Mennonite School.

Dr. Joe Longacher ‘59, Harrisonburg, Va., former president of Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship, was a guest on the MennoHealth Cast podcast (find it on the Anabaptist World website). Among other topics, he discusses how he found his way to the specialty of gastroenterology and also how he views grief and resilience, having experienced the death of several family members in the last 18 months.


Arlen Delp ‘60, New Berlin, Wis., is retired from his career in health and medical services.

Betty Grove ‘60, Hanover, Ohio, has served with the Christian Women’s Club, Mennonite Disaster Service, Habitat for Humanity, Camp Belwood, and Egerton Private Hospital as well as on the Elmwood Library Board and in several nursing homes. She also spent a short service term in Afghanistan. Betty and her husband, Joseph Grove ‘57, have four children, eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandsons.

Daniel Hochstetler ‘60, Goshen, Ind., retired from teaching at Heritage Middle School in 1994. He also taught at two Hutterite colony schools in Montana and was a research field worker. Daniel co-founded the Jacob Hochstetler Family Association, was a charter member of the Michiana Anabaptist Historians, and edited the newsletters for both organizations.

Samuel Lapp ‘60, Lansdale, Pa., teaches industrial arts in the Wissahickon school district and at Camp Men-O-Lan. He previously served with Mennonite Central Committee in Jamaica and Egypt, and was later a camp administrator. He is married to Helen Longenecker Lapp ‘62.

M. Hershey Leaman ‘60, Lititz, Pa., is retired from his career as a program administrator in North America for Eastern Mennonite Missions and Mennonite Central Committee. He also served with MCC Pax in East Africa from 1953-56, and did development work in that region from 1960-76. He is married to Norma Leaman ‘60.

Elmer ‘60 and Eileen Lehman ‘60, Hilliard, Ohio, assist the Spanish-speaking congregation at Iglesia Cristiana Hispana in Hilliard. Elmer is retired from his career as a pastor and missionary with Rosedale International and Rosedale Bible College. Eileen is retired from her career as a missionary and elementary school teacher for the Hilliard City School District.

Edwin Miller ‘60, Kalona, Iowa, is retired after serving as a teacher and elementary school principal for 38 years in the Amana and Mid-Prairie Community school districts. His voluntary service involvements include Jubilee Partners, Camp Deer Park, and the International Guest House.

Joan Sala ‘60, Gilbertsville, Pa., is retired from her career as an elementary school teacher.

Kenneth Seitz ‘60, Harrisonburg, Va., is retired. He served overseas in Israel-Palestine and Lebanon from 1977-2009, serving part of that time with Eastern Mennonite Missions from 1979-86. He also pastored in Burlington, Vt. and Reedley, Calif. He is married to Audrey Metz ‘62.

Richard Weaver ‘60, Lititz, Pa., retired from a career as a doctor and surgeon, and later, pastor of New Holland Mennonite Church. He spent several years as a missionary surgeon in Tanzania, and was a certified spiritual director at Oasis Ministries. He is married to Ruth Weaver ‘63.

Donald E. Showalter ‘62, Broadway, Va., has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in corporate law and trusts and estates. Showalter serves Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver PLC in an of-counsel role. He joined the firm in 1965 after graduating from the University of Virginia Law School, and practiced family and criminal defense law before focusing on business law. For 35 years, Don taught business law at EMU. He was also EMU’s attorney.

Rachel Horst Witmer ‘62, Alliance, Ohio, and husband James were recipients of the Everence Regional Journey Award for northeast Ohio. They were recognized for their lifelong service in Christian education, medical service and church agencies.

David Yoder ‘62, Harleysville, Pa., was a recipient of the Everence Regional Journey Award, honored for lifelong service.

Emma Myers ‘63, Philadelphia, Miss., is retired from a career in elementary education in Neshoba County. She also taught in Ohio and Virginia, and helped start two Native American churches with husband Glenn Myers ‘63. Emma also raises funds for the local library through the organization Friends of the Library.

Rhoda Atzeff ‘65, Lancaster, Pa., has retired from her career as senior accounting clerk at AMP Inc/TE Connectivity. She currently volunteers at Calvary Homes and Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society.

Paul Beiler ‘65, Bergton, Va., is retired from his career as an administrative elder at Valley View Mennonite Church. He is a member of the Ruritan Club and volunteers with various local projects. He is married to Leanna Beiler ‘67.

Daniel Bowman ‘65, MDiv ‘81, Harrisonburg, Va., a retired piano technician and rehabilitation counselor, was featured with one of his woodworking projects in a “Bishop’s Mantle” column in the local newspaper by Jim Bishop ‘67. Over an 11-year period, Dan’s work has raised approximately $13,035 for the annual area Mennonite Relief Sale. He has made and donated five marble rollers, a set of wooden tops, a cherry study desk, a bedside stand made of ash wood, a Victorian style wash stand, a utility/clothing rack and an assortment of wooden footstools. He is pictured with a work-in- progress, a working model of a water-powered grist mill, scaled at one inch to the foot.

Lois Frantz ‘65, Thompson, Pa., helped to start the Faith Mountain Christian Academy in 1995. She was a teacher and principal at the school until retiring in 2015, and volunteers there currently.

Lois Good ‘65, Lititz, Pa., is retired from a career as a long-term care supervisor at the Lancaster County Office of Aging. Lois volunteers at Landis Homes. She is married to Carl Good ‘64.

Carl Hansen ‘65, SEM ‘67, Harrisonburg, Va., worked for 32 years with Eastern Mennonite Missions in Kenya and Ethiopia and nine years as a pastor at Salem Mennonite Church in Tofield, Alberta, Canada. He is married to Vera Hansen ‘61.

Ernie Hess ‘65, Lancaster, Pa., is a retired guidance counselor, pastor, and bishop. He is currently a substitute teacher in local public schools and Lancaster Mennonite School. He also volunteers with East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church. Ernie and his wife, Lois Hess ‘65, have completed the Appalachian Trail and the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Erma Horning ‘65, Lebanon, Pa., is a retired elementary school teacher.

Robert Koch ‘65, Woodland Park, Colo., is retired from his career as a teacher and professor.

Grace Leichty ‘65, West Liberty, Ohio, has retired from teaching business education in the West Liberty Salem Schools. Grace is a former board member at the Adriel School and a current board member of Green Hills Community. She chairs the resource and stewardship commissions in her church council.

Susanna Moshier ‘65, Castorland, N.Y., is retired from her career as a medical records director at United Helpers Cedars Nursing Home.

Jim Ranck ‘65, Harrisonburg, Va., is retired from his career as a self-employed real estate appraiser. He helped found the Sea Island Habitat for Humanity in Johns Island, S.C., in 1978, and was the executive director from 1990-97. The organization has built over 350 homes. He is married to Judy Ranck, class of ‘66.

Ellen Shenk ‘65, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is retired from her career as an editor.

Jewel Shenk ‘65, Sarasota, Fla., is retired from her career as a speech and language pathologist. Jewel volunteers at a homeless shelter in downtown Sarasota, is actively involved at Covenant Mennonite Fellowship, and chaired the group that formed the Anabaptist Heritage Association in Sarasota. She is married to JC Shenk ‘71.

Ethel Wenger ‘65, Dublin, Ohio, is retired from teaching. She and her husband Glen moved to the Columbus area last year to be near family.

Glenn Lehman ‘66, Leola, Pa., published an article, “Finding and Singing Colonial Mennonite Tunes” in the spring 2020 peer-reviewed journal The Hymn.


Thomas Beachy ‘70, Caseville, Mich., is a senior pastor at Pigeon River Mennonite Church and involved in missions work. He is a board member on several local environmental organizations and is an avid birder. Thomas is married to Karen Beachy ‘71.

Bob Bishop ‘70, Doylestown, Pa., is retired from a career as a self-employed excavating contractor.

Barbara Borntrager ‘70, Rockingham, Va., is a retired Rockingham County Public Schools teacher. She has served as a chaplain at Pilgrim’s Pride in Timberville since 2001, and is involved at New Beginnings Community Church as an adult Sunday school teacher and with a women’s Bible study group. Barbara is married to Jonas Borntrager ‘70.

Bob Brenneman ‘70, Goshen, Ind., volunteers as a ministerial assistant at Greencroft continuing care community. He is married to Rachel Brenneman ‘67.

Evelyn Brunk Bear ‘70, Kingston, Idaho, is a bookkeeper for the family business, Silver Valley Doors, LLC. She homeschooled her five children over a 27-year period and taught kindergarten for three of her grandchildren.

Jane Burkholder ‘70, Harrisonburg, Va., is retired after working for Mt. Pleasant Christian Day School, Riven Dale Home for Boys, and Park View Press. She was on the executive committee of the Women’s Missionary and Service Commission from 1990-2004, and traveled to the Holy Lands and Europe in 1974.

Jim Duncan ‘70, Asheville, N.C., retired in 2008 from a career at Choice Books of Northern Virginia. Jim and his wife Charlene Martin Duncan, class of ‘66, have lived in Asheville for 41 years. From 1973-78, they served as missionaries to Italy, and in 1979 helped start the church they still attend, Asheville Mennonite.

Lois Greene ‘70, Lancaster, Pa., is retired from a career in social work. She is involved in the AARP Tax Ministry and Silent Samaritan organizations.

Marian Hackney ‘70, Raphine, Va., is a retired teacher. She specialized in working with visually impaired students.

Lois Hochstetler ‘70, Bloomington, Ill., is a retired clinical social worker. Lois volunteers as an election judge, with Mennonite Disaster Service, and in her church and neighborhood. She is married to Wayne Hochstetler ‘69.

Charlotte Hoover ‘70, Lebanon, Pa., and her husband are partners in the family dairy business, Caristone Farm, LLC. She also previously worked as a secretary. The couple is involved at the Lebanon Area Evangelical Free Church teaching marriage classes. Charlotte volunteers with Jubilee Ministries and loves being a grandparent.

Elton Horst ‘70, Hagerstown, Md., is retired from a career in religion, and is involved at the local YMCA.

Brenda King ‘70, Sugarcreek, Ohio, is retired from a 30-year teaching career. She is married to Ralph King ‘69.

Dennis King ‘70, Lincoln, Neb., is a retired dentist. He provides dentistry services in a volunteer capacity for People’s City Mission and is a volunteer tutor for Lincoln Literacy and Southeast Community College.

Lois King ‘70, Harrisonburg, Va., is retired from Rockingham County Public Schools, and works part-time for the Rockingham Education Foundation. She also designs and sews comforters with Lindale Mennonite Women for Mennonite Central Committee. From 2013-19, she taught English at Lezha Academic Center in Albania.

Dawn Lehman ‘70, Deer River, N.Y., is a deaconess at Calvary Assembly of God, where she is involved in puppet shows, a girls’ club, and Sunday school.

Henry Miller ‘70, Constantine, Mich., is a partner with his son, Ricardo, in Villa Miller Farms.

Richard Miller ‘70, Manheim, Pa., is retired from his career as a physician at the University of Virginia and Stuarts Draft Family Practice. He volunteers with Mennonite Central Committee and the Landisville Mennonite Church. Richard is married to Fannie Miller ‘71.

Virginia Musser ‘70, Lititz, Pa., is retired. She volunteers at the Lititz Public Library, Lancaster General Health, and the Luther Acres Retirement Community.

Allen Peachey ‘70, Goshen, Ind., is retired from teaching English language learners (ELL) and Spanish at Bethany Christian High School and Goshen High School. Allen volunteers with a number of organizations, including the Window’s Food Pantry, Mennonite Central Committee thrift store, Goshen Community Chorale, Ten Thousand Villages, and the Jubilee Assistance Ministry.

Gloria Rosenberger ‘70, State College, Pa., is retired from her career in education and social and community services.

Ruth Anne Roth ‘70, Monroe, N.C., is retired from a career in health and medical services. She assists with women’s ministries at Waxhaw Bible Church. Last year, she wrote a short book about her childhood years for her grandchildren.

Maynard Shirk ‘70, Conestoga, Pa., is retired and now is a self-employed health advocate for and writer on end-of-life issues.

Beth Steria ‘70, Lowville, N.Y., is a pharmacy technician at Kinney Drugs. She is also the treasurer for the NYS Correctional and Youth Services Association, secretary for the New York Mennonite Conference, council member at Lowville Mennonite Church, and serves on the board of directors for fair trade store Agape Shoppe in Watertown. She has enjoyed several world travels.

J. David Yoder ‘70, Sarasota, Fla., is the executive director of Sunnyside Village. He is married to Nancy Yoder ‘70.

Nancy Yoder ‘70, Sarasota, Fla., is retired from a career in education. She chairs the Sarasota Christian School Board and volunteers at Sunnyside Village and Sarasota Memorial Hospital. She is married to J. David Yoder ‘70.

Ken Fellenbaum ‘71, SEM ‘77, Milford, Conn., is the pastor at Wildermere Beach Congregational Church, which has remained open during the pandemic by limiting in-person attendance to under 50 and offering livestream services.

Jim Buller ‘75, Goshen, Ind., retired after 41 years at Bethany Christian Schools. He coached basketball for 35 years and transitioned to the interim head of school and guidance counselor in 2015. He is married to Jane Stoltzfus Buller ‘75.

Ruth Detweiler Lesher ‘75, Mechanicsburg, Pa., is a psychologist and clinical director for Behavioral Healthcare Consultants. Ruth served for nine years on the board of Bridge of Hope, a national organization that aims to end family homelessness. She also served many years on the boards of Mennonite Central Committee U.S. and East Coast.

Jane Durdin ‘75, Evesham, N.J., is retired from her career in health and medical services.

Robert Fisher ‘75, Bremen, Ohio, is retired from his career as a pastor at Turkey Run Mennonite Church and as a rural mail carrier.

Beverly Hendricks ‘75, Telford, Pa., is an office administrator at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach. Beverly enjoys traveling and is involved in counseling in her community.

Clair Hochstetler ‘75, Cincinnati, Ohio, is a hospice chaplain at Village Home Health and Hospice, and the president of the board of Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship.

Jane Peifer ‘75, Harrisonburg, Va., is a spiritual director and retreat leader. She is married to Daryl Peifer ‘75.

Janet Schlabach ‘75, Goshen, Ind., is retired from teaching health and physical education at Triad Middle School in North Lewisburg, Ohio. She is married to Bruce Schlabach ‘77.

Elaine See-Dellinger ‘75, Mathias, W.Va., has retired from her career in nursing after 40 years at Green Valley Clinic. She also worked for Dr. Linford Gehman in Bergton and for Home Health and Hospice. She enjoys being a grandmother.

Betty Shenk ‘75, Harrisonburg, Va., is retired from her career as an elementary school counselor with Rockingham County Public Schools. She is involved with Gift & Thrift, Bridge of Hope, Bridges Community Gatherings, and Kids Club. She has traveled to Israel, Palestine, Turkey, and Greece with EMU Alumni and Friends cross-cultural trips, and to China with Mennonite Partners in China. Betty is married to Keaton Shenk ‘75 (see next entry).

Keaton Shenk ‘75, Harrisonburg, Va., taught elementary and middle school in Harrisonburg, in Page County, and with Mennonite Central Committee in Bolivia until his retirement. Keaton is involved with Gift & Thrift, Bridge of Hope, Patchwork Pantry, Bridges Community Gatherings, and Community Mennonite Church. (See entry above.)

Bonnie Shoemaker ‘75, Harrisonburg, Va., is retired from teaching first grade at Stone Spring Elementary School. She volunteers at the Brethren/Mennonite Heritage Center, is involved at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, and helps care for her grandchildren. Bonnie is married to Craig Shoemaker ‘78.

Dennis Trissel ‘75, Rockingham, Va., runs the agricultural business Trissel Equipment Sales, LLC, and volunteers with the Harrisonburg Rescue Squad.

James Weaver Musser ‘75, SEM ‘83, Harrisonburg, Va., is retired from the pastorate at Crossroads Mennonite Church. He is the chairman of the Virginia Mennonite Conference’s congregational life commission, a member of the VMC council, and a volunteer driver for Mennonite Disaster Service. He is married to Aldine Musser ‘14.

Dottie Weber ‘75, East Petersburg, Pa., is retired from her 40-year career teaching cooking classes and directing food services at Lancaster Mennonite School. She also worked for Hempfield Family Child Care Center and Zest Cooking School. She coordinates weddings and funerals for East Petersburg Mennonite Church.

J. Michael Greene ‘76, South Hill, Va., is the new head varsity baseball coach at Kenston Forest School in Blackstone. He coached baseball for 30 years at Park View High School in South Hill. He is married to Bonnie Showalter Greene ‘77.

Ron ‘78 and Judy ‘77 Zook, Lancaster, Pa., co-pastor the Laurel Street Mennonite Church, which sits across the street from the spot where local resident Ricardo Muñoz was fatally shot in September. The Zooks and their congregation set up prayer stations in the church parking lot. Church member and social worker Janelle Bitikofer ‘97 sat at one station listening to stories of grief. Congregants and visitors wrote notes of comfort and love that the Zooks delivered, with flowers, to the Muñoz family


Roberta Jantzi Egli ‘80, Eugene, Ore., is the executive director of Messy Church USA, part of an international movement in which people of all ages meet together to learn about Christ through games, crafts and activities, music, and storytelling from the Bible.

Shirley Garber ‘80, Lancaster, Pa., is a supervisor of employee relations at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm. Previously, she worked for Lancaster Mennonite Schools for 22 years.

Loretta Gehman ‘80, Holtwood, Pa., is a social worker at UPMC Hospital.

Sue Glick ‘80, Akron, Pa., is the executive assistant for international programs for Mennonite Central Committee. She is a worship leader and a member of the leadership team at Pilgrim Mennonite Church.

Sandra Greenwood ‘80, Philadelphia, Pa., is a licensed agent in customer service and sales at Optum Health Insurance.

Joy Maust ‘80, West Jefferson, Ohio, is retired from her career as a seventh-grade social studies teacher with London City Schools.

Lynn Miller ‘80, Woodburn, Ore., is retired after a 35-year career as a pastor in Oregon and Virginia. He has since been on three service trips with Mennonite Mission Network to California, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico.

Lucinda Oberholzer ‘80, Hagerstown, Md., is a registered dental hygienist and a clinical instructor at Hagerstown Community College. She is a board member at World Treasures Thrift Shop.

Myron Blosser ‘83, MA ‘98 (education), Harrisonburg, Va., was recognized with the 2020 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science. Blosser is co-chair of the Harrisonburg High School STEM Academy. He also founded and hosts the Shenandoah Valley Biotechnology Symposium.

Marvin Cofield ‘85, Beltsville, Md., is an elementary school physical education teacher in Montgomery County. He is also the owner of the Marvin Cofield Basketball School in Washington D.C. and an assistant women’s basketball coach at Chesapeake College on the Eastern Shore.

Pearl Hartman ‘85, Rockingham, Va., is a pastor at Big Spring Mennonite Church and an overseer for chaplains on the Virginia Mennonite Conference’s faith and life commission.

Kathy Weaver Hertzler ‘85, Lancaster, Pa., is the administrative assistant for college grants at Franklin & Marshall College.

Marita Regier ‘85, Orrville, Ohio, is a preschool special education teacher for Tri County ESC Preschool. She has spent many summers in Ecuador training teachers and supporting early childhood programs. Her family lived in Quito, Ecuador, from 1990-97 as missionaries with Rosedale Mennonite Missions and HCJB World.

Amy Rosenberger ‘85, Philadelphia, Pa., was among 16 attorneys at the law firm Willig, Williams & Davidson to be listed in the 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. Rosenberger has been honored before by the list. The firm’s attorneys were recognized for their expertise in the practice areas of labor and employment, workers’ compensation, and employee benefits.

Dan Ziegler ‘85, Paynesville, Minn., is the executive director at Koronis Ministries – United Methodist Churches of Minnesota. He’s been involved with Christian camps for over 25 years, was the president of Rosedale Bible College for eight years, and did mission and relief work in Haiti for five years.

Rose Landis Baer ‘87, Elizabethtown, Pa., was ordained in September at the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren. She works as a palliative chaplain at Hospice & Community Care on the supportive care team.

Elizabeth Witmer Dunmore ’87, Queen, Pa., is chief medical officer of the Conemaugh Health System which includes four regional medical centers and is the largest healthcare provider in west central Pennsylvania that serves over a half-million patients each year. She was previously vice president of medical affairs.

Beth Finkbiner ‘88, McAlisterville, Pa., is the 2020 recipient of the Lewistown Hospital Nurse Excellence Award from Geisinger Health System. Beth is an instructor in the hospital’s school of nursing. Previously, she taught at the Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology and worked in hospitals, home healthcare, and retirement homes.


Brenda Auker ‘90, Mifflintown, Pa., was a nominee for the 2020 Lewistown Hospital Nurse Excellence Award from Geisinger Health System. She’s been with the hospital for 30 years and cares for patients in the maternity unit.

Patty Baer ‘90, Harrisonburg, Va., is an elementary English Language Learners specialist for Harrisonburg City Public Schools. She is involved in a number of organizations, including the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the TESOL International Association.

Denise Hart ‘90, Kentwood, Mich., is a paralegal II at Meijer, Inc. Denise also serves as a board member and secretary for Urban Family Ministries in Grand Rapids.

Lavonn Hostetler ‘90, Goshen, Ind., is a controller at Talon Products. She is married to Eric Hostetler ‘90, who is employed at Kountry Wood Products.

Tamara Hunsberger Denlinger ‘90, Perkasie, Pa., is an adult ESL teacher for Keystone Opportunity Center and an elder at Blooming Glen Mennononite Church. Tamara is married to Duval Denlinger ‘91.

Jeff Landis ‘90, Meridian, Miss., is an ESL teacher in the Lauderdale County School District. He is a conference minister with the Gulf States Mennonite Conference, a Jubilee Mennonite youth sponsor, and director emeritus at Pine Lake Mennonite Camp. Jeff is married to Cheryl Landis ‘89.

Jacalyn Lee ‘90, Luray, Va., is a housing services coordinator at Choices Council on Domestic Violence for Page County. She is also active in the Page County community choir, the Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale, Luray Triathlon, and the worship committee at Big Spring Mennonite Church.

Roxie Ramseyer ‘90, Dalton, Ohio, leads parenting classes through Growing Families International, serves on the board of trustees for Camp Luz, and is involved with adult Sunday school and youth programming at Smithville Mennonite Church.

Tim Schultz ‘90, Newfane, N.Y., is a pastor at the First Baptist Church of Newfane.

Marshall V. King ‘92, Goshen, Ind., is a writer and communications professional. He writes a popular food column for local newspapers and is director of communications and marketing for the Community Foundation of Elkhart County. He is also working on a book about the life of Michael J. Sharp ‘05 (forthcoming, spring 2022, Herald Press).

Arlin Roth ‘93, Martinsburg, Pa., recently earned a master’s degree in educational technology from Wilson College in Chambersburg. Arlin is an instructional technology specialist in the Bellefonte Area School District.

Gilberto Perez Jr. ‘94, Goshen, Ind., defended his dissertation about Latinx student development at an emerging Hispanic-Serving institution to complete his EdD degree from the University of New England.

Dianne J. Warren ‘94, MA ‘04 (conflict transformation), Buckeye, Ariz., is the adult librarian at the new Heroes Regional Park Library, where her social work background is especially helpful when assisting patrons from all walks of life. Her husband, G. Wayne Warren MDiv ‘95, teaches history and magic via the online education platform OutSchool.

Kristina Blakely ‘95, Harrisonburg, Va., is a program supervisor at People Places Inc, a nonprofit providing foster care, adoption, and community-based services.

Angie Breneman ‘95, Rockingham, Va., is a registered nurse working in heart and vascular services at Sentara RMH. She is married to Alan Breneman ‘93.

Cynthia Brunk ‘95, New Market, Va., was awarded a scholarship this year from the Shenandoah County Retired Teachers Association as she works towards her master’s degree in educational leadership. Cynthia is a sixth-grade math teacher at North Fork Middle School in Quicksburg. She has 24 years of teaching experience.

Stacey Egli ‘95, Wolcottville, Ind., is a special education teacher at Westview School Corporation. She is married to JJ Egli ‘95, owner of the Topeka Do It Best Hardware.

Matt Hamsher ‘95, Kidron, Ohio, is the executive director of the ministry community Evana Network, and a board member of the Spring Haven Counseling Center. He is married to Kristina Hamsher ‘97.

Joy Kraybill ‘95, Washington D.C., is the deputy director of exchange eligibility and enrollment for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Andy Saltzman ‘95, East Peoria, Ill., is vice president at the accounting firm Ginoli & Co., Ltd.

Kellie Thiessen ‘95, Carman, Manitoba, Canada, is the program director of the midwifery program at the University of Manitoba. Last year, she and a First Nations elder won a grant for over $800,000 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study maternity systems in northern Canadian communities. In 2017, Kellie was among the first midwives in the nation to be recognized by the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program with a Career Development Award.

Allen Umble ‘95, Christiana, Pa., retired from Virginia Mennonite Missions in Albania in 2016. He still makes extended visits back to Albania and is currently employed as a part-time caregiver.

Cedric Moore ‘97, Richmond, Va., joined Steve Yoder, director of the office of academic access, for an interactive discussion in September with EMU faculty and staff on teaching students on the spectrum. A board of trustees member, Cedric is co-owner and chief executive officer of Spectrum Transformation Group that provides services for people with autism spectrum disorder all along the life continuum. His wife, Dr. Melinda Moore, also joined the conversation. She conducts diagnostic screening and assessment, social skills groups, and individual/family therapy for individuals along the spectrum.

Michael H. Murphy ‘97, Prineville, Ore., is the dean of online learning at Bristol Community College. Previously, he was the director of eLearning and academic technology at Central Oregon Community College in Bend, Oregon. He earned his doctorate in education from Marshall University in South Charleston, West Virginia.

Karla Stoltzfus Detweiler ‘99, Kalona, Iowa, is the new executive director of Hungry World Farm in Tiskilwa, Illinois. Previously, she served as the pastor at First Mennonite Church in Iowa City.


Lisa Allison ‘00, Colorado Springs, Colo., is the manager of the breast care program at UCHealth. She is married to Clay Allison ‘00, owner of Ascent Cycling.

Micah Beachy ‘00, Omaha, Neb., is the vice president and chief quality officer for Nebraska Medical Center. He is married to Shanna Beachy ‘00.

Lydia Ruth Carbis ‘00, Boise, Idaho, is a medical student coordinator at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Krystal Glick ‘00, Harrisburg, Pa., is a homeschool teacher for her four children.

Kelly Gingerich ‘00, Rockingham, Va., is a substitute teacher for Rockingham County Public Schools. She is married to Chan Gingerich ‘98.

Amy Lehman ‘00, Davidsonville, Md., is a school counselor at Alexandria Country Day School and a therapist at her private practice, Moving Forward PLC.

Quincy Longacre ‘00, Quakertown, Pa., is the director of marketing and distribution at Buckeye Energy Services, LLC. He also serves on the boards of Swamp Mennonite Church, Spruce Lake Wilderness Retreat, Free Fall Action Sports, and Better Home Heat Council of the Lehigh Valley.

Amanda Kristen Pyle ‘00, Oakland, Calif., is the director of community services for the Golden Gate Regional Center in the San Francisco Bay Area. The center serves children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This year, she was appointed to serve on the state Developmental Services Task Force workgroups focusing on community services and service access and equity.

Julia Richer ‘00, Archbold, Ohio, is a Spanish teacher for Pettisville Local Schools and is involved in the Zion Community Choir. She is married to Chris Richer MA ‘10 (education).

Mike Gale ‘01, Verona, Va., is the athletic director and boys’ basketball coach at Rockbridge County High School. Previously, he coached basketball for 14 seasons at Stuarts Draft High School in Augusta County.

Erik Kratz ’02 ,Telford, Pa., announced the end of his Major League Baseball career Nov. 6. After a standout career at EMU, he played 19 seasons of professional baseball, appearing in games for nine different MLB teams, including multiple stints with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the New York Yankees. He was with the Kansas City Royals during the 2014 World Series, and earned a World Series ring from the Royals in 2015. Erik also played on the U.S. National Team. He was EMU’s Alum of the Year in 2019.

Brian Buchanan ‘03, Staunton, Va., is the vice president of fulfillment and logistics at Dominion Data Group in Staunton. Previously, he taught music as well as other subjects at Eastern Mennonite School for 17 years.

Caleb Eugene Ediger ‘03, El Dorado, Kan., is the associate dean of nursing and allied health at Butler Community College in El Dorado.

Ross Kauffman ‘03, Bluffton, Ohio, is the director of public health at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. Ross helped create a video called “Small Town COVID 19 Fatality Modeling” to communicate the severity of the virus to the public.

Rhoda Miller ‘03, MA ‘20 (restorative justice), Keezletown, Va., is a crisis response and forensic interview coordinator for the Collins Center & Child Advocacy Center, which works with individuals who have experienced sexual harm and provides education and prevention programming. In addition to supervising crisis support services and serving as the lead forensic interviewer, Rhoda is also a graphic designer and manages print and online media for the agency.

Kendra Beeman ‘05, Harrisburg, Pa., is the head varsity girls’ soccer coach at Halifax High School.

Jennifer Cameron ‘05, Front Royal, Va., is dean of students at E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School in Warren County Public Schools. She recently completed a graduate degree in education administration from James Madison University.

Holly Durham ‘05, Churchville, Va., is a registered nurse at Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare. She is married to David Durham MA ‘15 (education).

Jason Garber ‘05, Philadelphia, Pa., published Practical Pair Programming (A Book Apart, 2020), a short guide to a specific software development technique. Jason is Chief Operating Officer and cofounder of the software firm Promptworks.

Dana Shannon ‘05, Leola, Pa., is the life enrichment director at Evergreen Estates Retirement Community.

Katrina Swartz ‘05, Harrisonburg, Va., is a mental health case manager at the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community Services Board. She is married to Eliot Swartz ‘06.

Misty Ward ‘05, Rockingham, Va., is the clinical director and founder of Brookhaven Birth Center, and president of the Virginia Birth Center Alliance.

Deanna Brubaker ‘06, Vail, Colo., is a nurse at Vail Health. She has also worked in California, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Washington state, and London on traveling nurse assignments. Deanna has hiked to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, has ice climbed in Alaska, and enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, and dirt biking.

Amanda K. Gross ‘06, MA ‘13 (conflict transformation), Pittsburgh, Pa., is an anti-racist organizer and artist currently pursuing doctoral studies in expressive arts therapy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. She is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches an anti-racist yoga class at Pittsburgh Mennonite Church.

Ben Schlegel ‘06, Kokomo, Ind., is the pastor at Salem Mennonite Church in Shickley.

Kate Baer ’07, Hummelstown, Pa., sailed to the top of the New
York Times
Fiction Best Seller list in late November with What Kind of Woman (Harper Perennial, 2020), summarized as “poems on freedom, the birth of a son, and grandmother’s cake” in the famous weekly listing. Check out @katejbaer on Instagram or her website, katebaer.com. Our congratulations, Kate! Join Kate for a Writers Read event, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26. Look for details on EMU’s calendar.

Oz Blackaller ’07, San Diego, Calif., was a guest chef and finalist on an October episode of the Food Network show Chopped. He also has rebranded his award-winning tapas restaurant Cueva Bar into the De Nada Kitchen and Market in celebration of the establishment’s 10th anniversary.

Liza Heavener ‘07, Telford, Pa., has joined the board of Mercy For Animals.

Rachel Schlegel McMaster ‘07, Hesston, Kan., is the director of communications for Bluestem Communities, a nonprofit organization that operates retirement communities and senior citizen services.

Shannon Roth ‘07, Harrisonburg, Va., gave the 2020 commencement address for Eastern Mennonite High School. She was one of the senior class sponsors and teaches government at the school.

Katrina Alger ‘08, Fitchburg, Wis., is an ecologist and decision analyst-in-training for the United States Geological Survey.

Embryologist Sarah Jones ’08 works in the Markham Fertility Center in Toronto, Canada. Her speciality is in vitro fertilization. At EMU, she completed pre-med course work, which included working with micro-manipulators similar to those she uses now. Sarah remembers professors Greta Ann Herin and Roman Miller for being “wonderful supporters.”

Nicholas Meyer ‘08, MDiv ‘15, Harrisonburg, Va., is a chaplain at Coffeewood Correctional Center.

Ral Nwankwo Obioha ‘08, Houston, Texas, is founder and principal attorney at the Law Office of Ral Obioha, PLLC. She was tapped for a profile on ThriveGlobal, a media website developed by Ariana Huffington. A graduate of Howard University School of Law, she also holds a Master of Laws Summa Cum Laude, in international human rights law from American University.

Nick Detweiler-Stoddard ‘09, Freeman, S.D., is the pastor of Washington Mennonite Church in Washington, Iowa. Previously, he served as the pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Freeman.

Josué Hernandez ‘09, Rockingham, Va., is a mortgage loan officer and was recently appointed to Harrisonburg’s CARES Act Advisory Task Force to help guide how the city will spend federal funds in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kahstoserakwathe Paulette Moore MA ‘09 (conflict transformation), Six Nations of the Grand River, was the honorary speaker for EMU’s Indigenous People’s Day 2020 convocation event. She is Kanyen’kehàka (Mohawk) and an enrolled member of Six Nations of the Grand River territory where she is based. Kahstoserakwathe shared the world premiere of her latest film project “VeRONAka,” a 10-minute fictionalized version of the true story that “our clan mothers gave COVID-19 a Mohawk name, so that we are able to respect the illness, understand why it is here and then invite it to leave.” She is a former visual and communication arts professor at EMU, and now a principal member of The Aunties Dandelion (theauntiesdandelion.com), a media/research center and healing space co-founded with Dr. Karenna’onwe Karen Hill, a physician who is also Mohawk. The graphics for the film and the organization are by Jonathan Bush ‘16, owner of J. Bush Studios, based in Lancaster, Pa.


Kate Bergey ‘10, Harrisonburg, Va., is a career and academic advisor at James Madison University and a board member at Park View Federal Credit Union. She is married to Benjamin Bergey ‘11.

Kara Fisher ‘10, Midlothian, Va., is a family nurse practitioner at Dispatch Health.

Dirk Holsopple ‘10, Arlington, Va., is a principal software engineer at Cvent. He is married to Maria Hoover Holsopple ‘07.

Monica Pangle ‘10, Bridgewater, Va., is the owner of event decor rental company Another Chance Events.

Ethan Zook ‘10, Broadway, Va., is a paramedic with Page County Fire – EMS, and recently earned a master’s degree in history from Liberty University. He is married to Melissa Zook ‘08.

Javier Calleja ‘11, Harrisonburg, Va., is a Spanish instructor at James Madison University. He recently earned a doctorate’s degree in applied linguistics Spanish from the University of Jaén in Spain.

Gabriel Brunk ‘12, MA ‘17 (organizational leadership), Leesburg, Va., was promoted to senior digital marketing strategist at Surefire Local, a marketing software company for small businesses.

Andrew Kniss ‘14, Harrisonburg, Va., is a firefighter with the Charlottesville Fire Department.

Colt Duttweiler ‘15, Mt. Rainier, Md., is a freelance graphic designer and the assistant manager at Conte’s Bike Shop in Washington D.C.

Christina Hardman ‘15, Pittsford, Vt., a licensed social worker, is a psychosocial manager at Bayada Hospice. Christina is also involved with the Alzheimer’s Association, Caring Canines, pet therapy at the Rutland Regional Medical Center, and church activities.

Erin Hershey ‘15, Mechanicsburg, Pa., is the assistant thrift manager at Ephrata Re-Uzit Stores, Inc., a Mennonite Central Committee thrift store.

Jacob Landis ‘15, Sterling, Ill., is a self-employed organic farmer and interim pastor. He recently completed a master’s degree in Christian spiritual formation and leadership from Friends University.

Emily Ryan ‘15, Broadway, Va., is a hospice case manager at Sentara Hospice in Harrisonburg.

Melissa Sauder ‘15, Akron, Pa., is an office nurse at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.

Nic Sulc ‘15, Prince George, Va., is a flight attendant for United Airlines.

Phil J. Yoder ‘15, Wardensville, W.Va., is a pastor at Crest Hill Community Church.

Ben Emswiler ‘16, Homestead, Pa., is the executive assistant and office manager of Neighborhood Allies in Pittsburgh, a community development intermediary that supports the people, organizations, and partnerships committed to creating and maintaining healthy neighborhoods. He earned a master’s in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 2020.

Jolee Paden ‘16, Fletcher, N.C., is the director of operations in Southeast Asia for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She is based in Washington D.C.

Stephanie Toth ‘16 and fiance Lila Marks ‘18, Savannah, Ga., are pursuing master’s degrees in fine arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Toth is a painter and animator; Marks is a documentary photographer. They collaborated on the Homecoming art exhibit, “Elsewhere,” about childhood and youth.

Robert Cook ‘17, Maidens, Va., teaches dual enrollment government and world history at Powhatan High School. He earned a master’s degree in government from Johns Hopkins University.

Braden Herman ’18, Arcata, Calif, a self-described “trout bum,” is a graduate student of natural resources and fisheries biology at Humboldt State University, known colloquially among fisheries folks as “Salmon University.” He came to the field through a love of fly fishing and an internship with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, where part of his job was conducting controlled burns for woodland health. Braden is orginally from Fort Defiance, Va.

Alexa Weeks ‘18, Harrisonburg, Va., is a third-grade teacher at Smithland Elementary School.

Lara Weaver ‘18, Brighton, Mass., is pursuing a master’s in social work at Boston College. Previously, Lara worked for the National Counseling Group in Harrisonburg, Va., as a community mental health counselor and therapeutic day treatment counselor.

David Drafton ‘19, Alexandria, Va., is pursuing a master’s degree from the University of Chester, England. Previously, he coached for the Alexandria Soccer Association.

Erik Peachey ‘19, Lititz, Pa., is an accountant with Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz. He earned a master’s degree in accounting at James Madison University.


Joseph Harder ‘20, Bridgewater, Va., is a Climate Futures Fellow with the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions. Joseph is analyzing environmental ethics in Mennonite hymnody.

Melissa Kinkaid ‘20, Charlottesville, Va., is a laboratory technician at the University of Virginia, working on three projects examining different causes of epilepsy.

Clara Weybright ‘20, Manheim, Pa., is a Climate Futures Fellow with the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions. She is based in the Mennonite Central Committee’s Washington D.C. office, working to connect communities with sustained political action surrounding climate change.


Jeff D. Wintermote MDiv ‘96, Hillsboro, Kan., graduated from Newman University in May 2020 with a master’s degree in social work. He is a social worker in St. Francis Ministries’ kinship foster care program.

Patricia Burchill MA ‘03 (education), Topping, Va., is a sixth grade language arts teacher for the Middlesex County Public Schools.

Marvin Lorenzana ‘10, MDiv ‘08, Rockingham, Va., is the ninth president of Eastern Mennonite Missions. Previously, he worked with Mennonite Mission Network as minister for discipleship initiatives.

Ryan Beuthin MA ‘11 (conflict transformation), Flint, Mich., runs Twig End Farm with his wife Janie, former office manager at CJP. They sell fresh-cut, sustainably farmed flowers grown on what used to be a vacant lot by their house in the Mott Park neighborhood.

Brian Gumm MA ‘11 (conflict transformation), Toledo, Iowa, is the founder and head roaster of Ross Street Roasting Co., a specialty coffee roasting company started in 2015. Brian also works in technology in a variety of roles and advocates for community and economic development in his small-town context.

Brett Klingenberg MDiv ‘11, Peabody, Kan., helps run the family business Klingenberg Farms, Inc., which raises cattle and grows wheat, corn, and soybeans.

Colins Imoh MA ‘12 (conflict transformation), Port Harcourt, Nigeria, is a research fellow for the Centre for Inclusion and Diversity at the University of Bradford in England. He also serves on several boards and committees, including those of the International Institute for Peace Education, the One Humanity Institute, Children of the Earth, the African Peace Fellows of California State University, Mediators Beyond Borders, and the In Factis Pax journal.

Joanne Lauterjung MA ‘13 (conflict transformation), Yangon, Myanmar, is a consultant and trainer for SonicBloom. Recent projects include peace education development for the Ministry of Education through the United States Institute of Peace and interfaith dialogue and adaptive leadership for the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. Joanne holds a singing circle certification from All the Way In and a community music certification from Musicians Without Borders.

Charles Kwuelum MA ‘14 (conflict transformation), Harrisonburg, Va., is a senior legislative associate for international affairs with Mennonite Central Committee in Washington D.C. He monitors, writes, and guides advocacy efforts on U.S public policy related to Africa, global HIV/AIDS, food justice and security, agent orange, peacebuilding, counter-terrorism, and domestic police and criminal justice reform through the Anabaptist lens.

Christine Kindler MA ‘17 (conflict transformation), Lexington, Ky., was announced as the recipient of the Berlin Fellowship from Humanity in Action. She is a research assistant in the Global Community Health Lab in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Howard University.

Julie Nitzsche MDiv ‘17, Stanardsville, Va., has been commissioned by the United Methodist Church as a provisional elder. She is the associate pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Charlottesville.

Talibah Atiya-Najee Aquil MA ‘19 (conflict transformation), Harrisonburg, Va., is a lecturer at CJP, where she created a course entitled “Re-imagining Identity” that examines identity, storytelling, dignity, and the arts. She is also the project coordinator and communications specialist at the Furious Flower Poetry Center at JMU, the nation’s first academic center dedicated to educate, celebrate, and preserve African-American poetry.

Maria Moore MS ‘19 (nursing), Harrisonburg, Va., is an assistant professor of nursing at Piedmont Virginia Community College. She also works in the operating room at Sentara RMH.

Muhammad Akram MA ‘20 (conflict transformation), Harrisonburg, Va., is the founder of EvaluaTech, a research and evaluation initiative; and Dialogue, a local peacebuilding nonprofit in Pakistan. Muhammad is an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State’s Emerging Global Leaders Initiative, and the fellowship program StartingBloc in New York City.

Kirby Eva Broadnax MA ‘20 (conflict transformation), Cleveland, Ohio, is a holistic care and community building consultant at Initiatives of Change, U.S.

Alanna McGuinn MA ‘20 (Christian leadership), High View, W.Va., and her congregation at Central United Methodist Church earned the One Matters Award from the West Virginia conference of the United Methodist Church, which includes more than 1,000 congregations. Alanna also pastors at three other churches in West Virginia’s Potomac Highlands.

Karyn Nancarvis MDiv ‘20, Lititz, Pa., is a chaplain at Garden Spot Communities, a retirement community in New Holland, Pa.

Joe Ropp MA ‘20 (Christian leadership), Broadway, Va., runs his own painting and handyman business, Revive Home Services.


Mark Metzler Sawin, professor of history, with the help of eight students, published a new edition of The Volunteer (Emu Editions, 2020) by Ned Buntline, including a biographical essay written by Sawin and contextual annotations.

Carolyn Yoder, the first director of the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program, integrates new theories and developments into a revised version of the Little Book of Trauma Healing: When Violence Strikes and Community Security is Threatened.

Johonna Turner, professor of restorative justice and peacebuilding and co-director of the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice, contributed a chapter to Colorizing Restorative Justice: Voicing Our Realities (Living Justice Press, 2020), a collection of 18 essays by authors of color who are practitioners and scholars of restorative justice.

Twin Towers: A Photographer’s Archive (independently published, 2020) is the latest book by documentary photographer Leon Yost, class of ‘65, who photographed the World Trade Center from 1969 through the devastation of 9/11 and the rebuilding that followed.

Acoustic duo Clymer & Kurtz (Christopher ’00 and Maria Clymer Kurtz ’00) has released “Here Comes the Moon,” a full-length album of original songs on themes of loss, hope, and connection.

When the Center Does Not Hold (Fortress Press, 2019) offers mentorship for leaders who find themselves in polarized environments. The book was written by David Brubaker, dean of social sciences and professions, with co-authors Everett Brubaker 15; Teresa Haase, former director of the MA in counseling program; and Carolyn Yoder, the founding director of the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program.


Ralph Alderfer ‘63 to Doris Kolb ‘66, Lancaster, Pa., May 19, 2020.

Lois Burkholder Bowman ‘60 to John H. Kreider, Harrisonburg, Va., May 12, 2018.

Kendra Ann Duerksen Neufeld ‘99 to Jesse Engle MDiv ‘02, Newton, Kan., May 4, 2019.

Benjamin Witmer Bowman ‘02 to Megan Michelle Tiller ‘07, Rockingham, Va., July 3, 2020.

Rebecca Anne Yoder ‘10 to Tristan Rensema, Parnell, Iowa, November 30, 2019.

Charlotte Wenger ‘11 to Kyle Boudreau, Bridgewater, Mass., August 8, 2020.

Megan Hertzler ‘16 to Kyndell Hightree, Harrisonburg, Va., August 31, 2019.

Macson McGuigan ‘17 to Maddie Gish ‘17, Harrisonburg, Va., May 25, 2019.

Rose Marie Persinger ‘18 to Matthew Holden ‘18, Elkton, Va., October 19, 2019.

Nicole Litwiller ‘19 to Luke Mullet ‘19, Harrisonburg, Va., May 23, 2020.


Brinton (chemistry lab coordinator) and Michelle Domangue, Harrisonburg, Va., Hudson Day, June 2, 2020.

Sam and Katy Hopkins (open house coordinator), Harrisonburg, Va., Kendall Marie, August 30, 2020.

Ted and Amy Sauder Lehman ‘00, Davidsonville, Md., Raleigh Franklin Rhodes, March 24, 2020.

Robert and Erin Price Saunders ‘05, Souderton, Pa., Ezra Robert, April 3, 2020.

Jason ‘06 and Alexis Sauder Rutt ‘06, MA ‘11 (education), Harrisonburg, Va., Lucy Grace, June 18, 2020.

Bradley and Joy Shaiebly Shelly ‘07, Manheim, Pa., Parker James, June 18, 2020.

Tyler and Aubrey Bauman Kreider ‘08, Conestoga, Pa., Wade David, August 14, 2020.

Brent and Olivia Dimmig ‘15, Phoenixville, Pa., Genevieve May, September 27, 2019.


Chester Lehman Wenger ‘34, Telford, Pa., died Oct. 1, 2020, at 102. Chester served in Ethiopia with Eastern Mennonite Missions from 1949 to 1967. Then, along with Sarah Jane ‘42 and their eight children, Chester returned to the U.S. to direct EMM’s home ministries and evangelism program. He later pastored at Blossom Hill Mennonite Church until retiring in 1991.

Catherine Holsinger Miller ‘38, Harrisonburg, Va., died Sept. 3, 2020, at 100. Catherine was a teacher in Rockingham and Augusta counties in Virginia and Hamilton County, Tennessee. She held offices in the Virginia and Tennessee education associations, was a member of the Linville Edom Alumni Association, and the organist at West Side Baptist Church in Chattanooga for 32 years.

Ruth Alger ‘44, Broadway, Va., died Feb. 4, 2020, at 96. She married Robert Alger ‘49 in 1948, and helped run Robin Roost Farms for 35 years. Afterwards, she worked at Christian Light Publications until she retired. Ruth loved scripture and music. She taught her four daughters to sing as an a capella quartet.

Paul Gingrich ‘52, SEM ‘53, Goshen, Ind., died April 30, 2020, at 90. He and his wife, the late Ann Keener Gingrich ‘52, served as missionaries to Ethiopia. He worked at Goshen College in a variety of roles, and also served as president of the Mennonite Board of Missions. Paul and Ann were recognized in 1993 with EMU’s Distinguished Service Award. A more fulsome obituary and 80 photos can be viewed at https://www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com/obituary/paul-gingrich

Amos Yoder ‘54, Grove City, Minn., died Sept. 11, 2019, at 102. He was a conscientious objector during World War II, and later served with Mennonite Central Committee in Paraguay. Amos and wife Sara had six children. He taught school in several states. His life stories was published into the book A Chirp from the Grass Roots.

Mabel Jean Weaver ‘56, Ephrata, Pa., died August 27, 2020, at 85. Jean taught elementary school at Crestwood School District in Ohio, and was a substitute teacher for Myerstown Elementary, Schaefferstown Elementary and Myerstown Grace Christian School. However, her main occupation was being a loving mother to her four children.

Lois Z. Martin ‘59, Lititz, Pa., died April 28, 2020, at 88. Lois served with Mennonite Central Committee as a village development director in Greece in the 1960s, later earning a master’s degree in psychology of reading at Temple University. Lois taught second grade and remedial reading at John Beck Elementary School for 26 years.

John L. Horst Jr. ‘60, Harrisonburg, Va., died September 16, 2020, at 82. Over a 44-year career in the physics department at EMU, John gained a reputation as a valued colleague and excellent teacher. In later years, he shared his love of music as the host of WEMC’s “Mostly Mennonite, Mostly A Capella,” and in compiling and writing liner notes for nine CDs from the “Mennonite Hour” music archives.

Carolyn Landis Wenger ‘60, Ephrata, Pa., died April 27, 2020, at 76. She founded Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage magazine and served as director of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, later volunteering as archivist, museum curator and editor. She was also involved in church and regional historical organizations.

Kenneth Wayne Isner ‘63, Harrisonburg, Va., died Sept. 14, 2020, at 80. Ken taught at Pattersons Creek Elementary School and on the Navajo reservation. He later worked as a tour guide in Virginia, taught English in China, and traveled to Haiti, Taiwan, and Israel.

Paul Kauffman ‘63, Plain City, Ohio, died Dec. 20, 2020, at 80. Paul worked as a plant pathologist in plant pest control for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. A master craftsman, he could fix or build just about anything, including two of the homes where he raised his family. In his retirement years, Paul joined multiple church service trips to Latin America.

Mary Harnish Groff ‘64, Lancaster, Pa., died May 7, 2020, at 78. Mary cared for her late twin, Martha, and also her late husband, Harold, who was a quadriplegic for 32 years. For many years, Mary hosted a support group for wives of husbands with disabilities. Mary volunteered at Landis Homes before moving there in 2015.

Rosalyn E. Johnson ‘64, Boynton Beach, Fla., died June 19, 2020, at 78. Rosalyn worked for General Electric in Waynesboro, Va., for several years. She and husband Ronald later lived in Fairfax, Va., where she managed the family court reporting business until they moved to Florida in 2012.

Ruth Hollinger ‘65, Lancaster, Pa., died June 25, 2020, at 85. She worked as an executive secretary at New Holland Machine Co. and then taught English at Warwick Middle School for 23 years. In retirement, she worked at Coast Distribution Systems. Ruth volunteered at the MCC Material Resource Center and Landis Homes.

Carolyn Landis Wenger ‘65, Ephrata, Pa., died April 27, 2020, at 76. Carolyn founded Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage magazine and directed the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society from 1976-2001. She then continued to volunteer as an archivist, museum curator and editor. Carolyn was also involved in a number of church and regional historical organizations.

Mildred “Marie” Vanderbent Brillinger ‘66, Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, died May 23, 2020, at 86, at Parkview Home.

Alan Ray Shirkey ‘72, Harrisonburg, Va., died Oct. 4, 2020, at 71. Alan was born in Stonewall Jackson’s home in Lexington. He started his career teaching at Fishburne Military School in 1972 and retired in 2008. He taught math, biology, chemistry, and science, and also sold antiques. His beloved dog Fronz preceded him in death.

Robert Sharp ‘73, Lewistown Pa., died June 27, 2020, at 71. Bob retired from the Allensville Planing Mill in 2019 after 36 years. He volunteered and served on the board at Lewistown Country club, and also coached baseball and basketball. Bob was a member of the West Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church where he had served as deacon and trustee.

David Kniss ‘74, Sarasota, Fla., died April 12, 2020, at 85. David was ordained as pastor at Ashton Mennonite Church in Sarasota in 1968. This was the first of six congregations he and his wife, Esther, served. David was also actively involved in planting new churches and supporting other church planters around the country.

Pauline Dulabaum ‘75, Elgin, Ill., died February 22, 2020, at 84. Pauline taught preschool and elementary school in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and Illinois. She was involved in Church of the Brethren choirs, and bell choir, and also served as a greeter and a deacon. Pauline was a devoted mother and grandmother.

Omar Beiler ‘79, Fishersville, Va., died April 29, 2020, at 69, after a short battle with cancer. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1983. He worked many years as a physician in the Shenandoah Valley and served with Virginia Mennonite Missions for six years in rural Jamaica.

Mildred V. Noll ‘83, Martinsburg, W.Va., died July 17, 2020, at 92. Mildred held a master’s degree in nursing from Marymount University and taught clinical nursing at Shenandoah University. She also worked with German prisoners of war in the late 1940s, later working at Kings Daughters Hospital, General Motors, and various Veterans Affairs medical centers.

Sherwyn Smeltzer ‘86, Harrisonburg, Va., died May 23, 2020, at 56. Sherwyn worked first as an elementary school counselor for eight years in Minnesota and Virginia, and then as a special education teacher in Broadway, Virginia. In 2015, Sherwyn joined the financial advising staff at Park View Federal Credit Union. Sherwyn was an avid runner who completed eight marathons.

Tresa Quarles MDiv ‘92, Roanoke, Va., died May 24, 2020, at 85. She taught in Fairfax County, Botetourt County, Albemarle County and Harrisonburg City Schools, where she also coached for 33 years. Tresa served as a minister for the Linville United Church of Christ and St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ for 23 years.

Jeanette T. Nyakyema ‘96, Mount Joy, Pa., died March 9, 2020, at 78. Jeanette served as a missionary to Tanzania with Eastern Mennonite Missions from 1980-2019. She helped with malaria research, planted Mennonite churches, assisted her husband’s pastoral ministry, and hosted guests visiting the area. Most recently, she worked with Tanzania’s most vulnerable children.

Keith Zimmerman ‘96, Columbia, Pa., died July 13, 2020, at 45. His life was filled with dairy cows, children, hard work, and the desire to do right and support justice. His wife, Katrina Wyse ‘96, will miss his sarcasm, his dedication to family, and his endless new projects he planned. Keith’s children, Tyree, Moses, and Imani, were blessed to have him as a father.

Weston Elliot Strickler ‘01, Kandy, Sri Lanka, died July 23, 2020, at 43, from a congenital heart condition. He lived in Sri Lanka with his wife, Sashini. He had just completed a master’s degree in Buddhist Studies from The University of Peradeniya.

Kimberly Callahan ‘08, Mount Joy, Pa., died June 9, 2020, at 54. She was the magnet program manager at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. She earned a master’s in nursing administration from the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences in 2017. She was awarded numerous achievements and recognitions from Lancaster General Hospital.


We apologize for the following errors from the Spring 2020 issue.

John Shenk ‘54, Lititz, Pa., retired as the CEO for the faith-based project “Sharing Programs.” We incorrectly listed his wife, Myrtle Shenk ‘55, as having retired from the position.

Gloria Shenk Worme ‘75, Mount Joy, Pa., was incorrectly noted as holding a master’s degree from EMU Lancaster. She took a number of graduate courses in education, and earned her ESL certification in 2012 there, while employed as an assistant in the MA in Education program. Gloria retired from Hospice & Community Care in the Pathways Center for Grief and Loss on May 31, 2019. Gloria volunteers as an usher at the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster.

Dana Gamber Shannon ‘05, Leola, Pa., was incorrectly referred to as “retired.” Dana is the life enrichment director at Evergreen Estates Retirement Community in Lancaster.

Degree Key

CLASS OF – attended as part of the class of a given graduation year
GC – graduate certificate
MA – master of arts
MS – master of science
MDiv – master of divinity

Entries about alumni with both their undergraduate and graduate degrees from EMU are listed in the undergraduate section.

Have an update? Visit emu.edu/alumni/update

Editorial Policy

Milepost entries are printed on the basis of submissions from alumni or on the basis of publicly available information. We do not verify the accuracy of information that alumni provide, nor do we make judgment calls on the information that they wish to be published, beyond editing for clarity, conciseness and consistency of style. The information provided to us does not necessarily reflect the official policies of EMU or of its parent church, Mennonite Church USA.