Fall/Winter 2013-14 Mileposts

January 10th, 2014

Faculty & Staff

Melody Miller ‘89 Cash, nursing professor, Harrisonburg, Va., was awarded a fellowship from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). AACN sponsors an executive leadership fellowship tailored specifically for aspiring and new deans. Designed to prepare a more diverse, younger pool of leaders for nursing programs, this professional development experience encompasses an assessment and evaluation of leadership skills, opportunities for strategic networking and case study development, consultation to achieve longterm goals, and identification of key partnerships.

William (Bill) Goldberg, MA ‘01 (conflict transformation), Harrisonburg, Va., became the director of the Summer Peacebuilding Institute in the summer of 2013. He has worked for EMU for a total of 13 years.

Nate Koser ‘07, MA ‘09 (counseling), assistant professor in counseling, Harrisonburg, Va., successfully defended his dissertation “An Aporia of the Psychoanalytic Discourse from a Lacanian Perspective with Special Reference to the Theory of Intersubjectivity” and has officially graduated from Saybrook University with a doctorate in psychology.


John Robert (Bob) Eshleman ‘56, Midlothian, Va., part-time professor of dentistry at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), was awarded the Dean’s Faculty Excellent Award for Part- Time Faculty. He received the award at a recognition ceremony Sept. 10 at the Kontos Medical Sciences Building Auditorium on the VCU campus. The award is based upon publications, student and faculty evaluations, service on committees and other public service, and length of service to the school. Bob has a total of 53 years, 21 of which were part time.

Charles Longenecker ‘57, Lititz, Pa., retired biology teacher at Lancaster Mennonite School (LMS), has authored a 198-page paperback titled This I Remember: A Memoir. He wrote the book mainly to share his experiences with his children and grandchildren that “would have been lost otherwise.” Charles taught at LMS for four decades, retiring in 1999 and continues to use his gift of teaching as an instructor for Landis Homes’ Pathways Institute of Lifelong Learning.


Harold F. Miller ‘63, Nairobi, Kenya, taught history and civics at Eastern Mennonite High School for two years after graduation. Beginning in 1965 he was seconded by Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Mennonite Central Committee to four African ecumenical organizations in Tanzania, Sudan, and Kenya. Interspersed between the secondments, Harold and his wife, Annetta Wenger ‘62 Miller undertook assignments specific to Mennonite Central Committee in Kenya, East Africa, and Sudan. Together, they are now retired in Nairobi, Kenya. Nelson ‘63 and Emma Jane Roth, Belleville, Pa., recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A reception, planned by their children: Darrel, Bernadine Stauffer ‘87, Cedric ‘91, and Arlin ‘92, was held at the Allensville Mennonite Church, where they were married in 1963. In lieu of gifts, the Roths requested that contributions be made to the local Crossroads Pregnancy Center’s project to finance a medical ultrasound clinic for abortion-minded women. Approximately 80% of the mothers who have seen their pre-born children chose adoption or parenting. To date, anniversary contributions have totaled more that $2,500. Nelson volunteered at Crossroads for the past 10 years as a pastoral counselor. He now works as a chaplain at the Valley View Retirement Community, where the Roths reside.

Lee ‘63 and LaVerne Zehr ‘63 Yoder, Harrisonburg, Va., returned from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, after 16 months serving as head of school at the American School of Vietnam. The school is a new one, having just completed its third year, but has become a candidate for accreditation with The Western Association of Colleges and Schools (WASC). It is a nursery through grade 12 institution with an enrollment of 240 students. A dual credit program was established last year with Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. in which grade 11 students could enroll and earn three undergraduate university English credits, while also meeting the English credit and requirements for Grade 11 at the school. The private school is completely English speaking and has nearly 70% enrollment of Vietnamese students who are preparing for university studies in the U.S. and abroad. A complete American curriculum course of studies is offered. LaVerne was an elementary resource teacher at the school. Lee is serving in a ministry of educational leadership, having been the founding superintendent of the Narmer American College (NAC) in Cairo, Egypt, 2000-08, and where LaVerne was the founding kindergarten teacher. NAC began with 20 students in the first year, and there were 495 students PreK-12 in 2008. Lee also serves as a chair for the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, Philadelphia, in Chairing Visiting School Accreditation teams in New York City and Washington D.C.

Robert (Bob) Conley ‘68, Spencerville, Md., has retired after 43 of working at various hospitals as a respiratory therapist and pulmonary function technician. He currently is working part time for Pulmonologists in Rockville, Md.

James Rosenberger ‘68, State College, Pa., was one of six Christopher Dock (CD) Mennonite High School alumni to be recognized as the 2013 alumni of the year. James, a ‘64 graduate of CD, was honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Susan (Sue) Clemmer, class of ‘69, Steiner, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, was one of six Christopher Dock (CD) Mennonite High School alumni to be recognized as the 2013 alumni of the year. Sue, a ‘65 graduate of CD, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award.


Everett Ressler ’70, Harrisonburg, Va., recently became the president of Future Generations and Future Generations Graduate School, an international civil society organiztion that activates empowerment at the community level. He brings 40 years of experience to the position, working in over 100 countries with organizations such as UNICEF, Konterra Group, Save the Children, and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center. His primary focus has always been humanitarian care. He states, “It’s seeing the best of humankind, even when surrounded by the worst, that gives you the hope of optimism and the grace to continue.”

Linda Alderfer, class of ‘71, Martin, Harleysville, Pa., was one of six Christopher Dock (CD) Mennonite High School alumni to be recognized as their 2013 alumni of the year. Linda, a ‘67 graduate of CD, was honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Janis Rutt Landes, class of ‘73, MA ‘04 (education), Akron, Pa., retired July 2013 from Bridge of Hope Lancaster and Chester Counties as a family and child specialist. After graduating from the Lancaster campus with her master’s in education, she volunteered for two years at a family resource center in Alamosa, Colo. that served immigrant families before transferring to Lancaster County to work toward community literacy and with families at risk for homelessness. Prior to this, Janis previously worked as a classroom teacher and school librarian for 17 years.

Jane Hoober ‘75, MDiv ‘98 Peifer, Lancaster, Pa., has retired from pastoral ministry as lead pastor at Blossom Hill Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pa. She was ordained in 1994 by the Virginia Conference of Mennonite Church USA and joined the pastoral team at Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg for the next several years. Returning to Lancaster in 1999, a time when the Lancaster Conference did not support women in ordination, Jane was invited to pastor Blossom Hill and did so for ten years without being ordained. Under her leadership, the church grew exponentially. She became a prominent voice for women in church leadership and blazed a trail toward change.

Lawrence Ressler ‘76, Marshall, Tex., was named interim provost at East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) until the university can conduct a national search to fill the role permanently. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in higher education to the role, including several positions at Tabor College, Roberts Wesleyan College, and most recently Taylor University. Lawrence will serve ETBU from July to April 2014.

Robert Linsly ‘78, Virginia Beach, Va., has retired from Virginia Beach city schools after 34 years as school activities coordinator and is now working as a musical performer with acoustic guitar and vocals.

Patricia (Pat) Shoemaker ‘79 Yoder, Narvon, Pa., maternal-child health supervisor in the Chester County, Pa. health department, has been recognized by the March of Dimes as one of its Chester County Women of Achievement. She is being honored for her “outstanding” achievement in her dedication of improving the lives of infants and their mothers. As supervisor, Pat oversees the county’s nurse home visiting service, the Women, Infants, and Children Food Program and immunization program, among others.


Steven (Steve) Eby ‘85, Braintree, Mass., has been selected as vice president of global strategy and program management at Retrophin, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of catastrophic diseases that are debilitating and often life-threatening. He began as a consultant for the company some years ago. Prior to consulting for Retrophin, Steve held various positions of increasing responsibility with Genzyme Corporation for 15 years, most recently as vice president for clinical development and medical affairs.

Rita Smith ‘86 Pruette, Blountstown, Fla., graduted from the University of Alabama Birmingham with a doctorate of nursing practice in December 2012 and is currently employed at Marianna OB/GYN Associates and Covenant Hospice in Marianna, Fla. Furthering her scholary project titled “The Experience of Teenage Pregnancy: Perceptions and Beliefs of Pregnant Teens in a Rural Community,” Rita is the executive producer of a documentary project called “Teen Moms: Growing Up Young.” Along with her husband, Jim, she also owns and operates Granny Smith Farms which provides a multitude of produce for the Blountstown area.

Dan ’87 and Jeanne Zimmerly ’86 Jantzi, formerly of Lowville, N.Y., area Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) directors for southeast Asia, are leading the organization’s response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and are working with partners to assess the next steps of relief and recovery. In addition to emergency food packages, MCC provided items such as bath soap, towels, pails for carrying water, and malongs – traditional tube skirts that can be used as towels, sheets, clothing, or baby hammocks. Priority was given to single-parent or child-headed households and households with pregnant or nursing mothers, children under 2, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The Jantzis stress that MCC is working in partnership with other organizations and will adjust its relief efforts in an effort to address needs that may not being met through other means.

Ingrid DeSanctis ‘88, Harrisonburg, Va., began a tenure track position as assistant professor of playwriting at James Madison University this fall. In addition to teaching playwriting, Ingrid will teach intermediate acting and direct mainstage productions. This fall she will be directing Euripides’ Trojan Woman adapted by Ellen McLaughlin at JMU.

Tina Shifflett ‘88, Elkton, Va., a pharmacy technician, began her eighth year as accounting chair for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life for the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County area.

Kathryn Stoltzfus ‘88, Myers, Knoxville, Tenn., received her master’s in mathematics degree from the University of Tennessee in the the summer of 2013. She is now on the faculty of Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn.

Linda Barrick ‘88 Wenger, Harrisonburg, Va., a nurse of 16 years at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, is currently pursuing a nurse midwifery degree through Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Ky., which, she says, is no small feat at her age. Karen has decided to pursue a career as a nurse midwife in the hopes that one day she can work internationally to help care for women who have little to no power. “My heart is with women, especially of the third world,” she says. “One day at a time, trusting Him who gave me the dream.”

Joel Gehman ‘89, Medina, Ohio, has been the chief financial officer for Neighborhood Progress, Inc., whose mission is to foster communities of choice and opportunity throughout Cleveland, Ohio. Neighborhood Progress was recently listed by Crain’s Cleveland Business as one of the 50 largest nonprofit organizations in Northeast Ohio.

Jonathan (Jon) Gish ‘89, Wrightsville, Pa., opens his beach house every October for a group of alumni to reconnect. This year marked its fifth year running. The group includes Joel Lehman ‘88, Peter Harnish ‘88, Tom Baker ‘81, Eric Kurtz ‘89, Loren Mast ‘89, Mark Deavers ‘89, Phil Lehman ‘89, Keith Yoder ‘89, Lawson Yoder ‘91, Richard Korpi ‘90, and Steve Martin, ‘87. Activities have included fishing, surfing, playing cards and other games, fellowshipping, reminiscing about and sometimes reenacting activites from the group’s halcyon days in the Oakwood Dorm (RIP).


Gilberto Pérez Jr. ‘94, Grad. Cert. ‘99, Goshen, Ind., is associate professor of social work at Goshen College and teaches policy series courses and introduction to social work. He was recently appointed as a Plan Commission member. In 2012 Gilberto launched Bienvenido Community Solution (BCS), LLC, a company that works with community-based organizations to implement the Bienvenido mental health curriculum. BCS also works at building bridges with immigrants and the host dominant culture. A recent initiative is bringing law enforcement and Latino immigrant congregations for trust-building and open conversation on community policing efforts. Finally, BCS is working with Indiana University School of Medicine to conduct a research study on discrimination and mental health in Latino youth.

Dianne Warren ‘94, MA ‘04 (conflict transformation), Buckeye, Ariz., earned her master’s in information resources and library science with a concentration in digital information management in 2012 and is now communication and training coordinator at the Family Involvement Center in Phoenix, Ariz. Among other tasks, Dianne coordinates communications outreach, trainings, and special events, including events to raise awareness about children’s mental health and family-professional conferences. She updates the company website, creates a monthly newsletter, and has created a digital library of resources accessible from the center’s website.

Maria (Janelle) Thomas ‘95, Lancaster, Pa., completed certification requirements for middle school science education. After teaching high school English for several years, Janelle decided to shift her focus and is now employed as a 7th grade life science and 8th grade physical science teacher at Lancaster Mennonite School in Lancaster, Pa.

Christine Hess ‘97, Conestoga, Pa., is owner and operator of Urban Olive, a mobile restaurant specializing in Mediterranean cuisine. She offers a very simple menu consisting of mainly chicken, falafel, or both and usually parks her truck on College Ave. and West Frederick St. near Franklin & Marshall College. As Christine notes, food trucks are popular in big cities like New York and Philadelphia. Lancaster has a few of its own, and it’s a growing trend for fast, healthy food with little overhead. When she’s not working out of her mobile restaurant, Christine is a bartender and server at Fenz restaurant.

Stephanie Horst ‘99, Lancaster, Pa., has been working for Capital Blue Cross for just short of seven years and worked for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department before that. Currently, she is working through an actuary credentialing process at a “leisurely pace” and recently passed the last preliminary exam before achieving associate in the Society of Actuaries.

Lisa White ‘99, Lancaster, Pa., director of counseling and empowerment services at the Lancaster YWCA, oversees the sexual assault prevention & counseling center. Last year the five counselors at the center counseled 716 victims of sexual abuse and assault. A third of those who went through counseling were children; a third were adolescents; and a third were adults. Most were female, but “we see a lot of boys [too],” she said. In the past couple of months, Lisa has had to step into more of an administrative role as the need for counseling has increased significantly, though she’d prefer to see clients. The work is difficult, often heartrendering, but she surrounds herself with people who love her and keep her safe.


Fidele Lumeya, MA ‘00 (conflict transformation), Silver Spring, Md., is the executive director for Congolese American Council for Peace and Development.

Darien Covelens ‘01, Lititz, Pa., is the director of private equity at Mainline Investment Partners. He manages a private equity fund out of New York City and suburban Philadelphia that provides capital to fast-growing startup businesses. Darien was previously a corporate transactions attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Aaron Kauffman ‘01, MDiv ‘12, Harrisonburg, Va., was chosen by Virginia Mennonite Missions’ (VMM) 15-member board of directors as their next president. He has extensive local and international mission experience, serving most recently as VMM global ministries director and advancement associate since 2011. Upon his selection, Kauffman notes, “It is truly an honor to be asked to serve Virginia Mennonite Missions in this way. With God’s help and the church’s prayerful support, I look forward to continuing VMM’s legacy of faithful witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. It is an exciting time to be part of what God is doing around the world through the church.”

Jonathan (Jon) Rudy, MA ‘01 (conflict transformation), Manheim, Pa., is currently teaching half time in the peace and conflict studies minor at Elizabethtown College in central Pennsylvania as the peacemaker in residence. In addition, he is working to connect the college with the University of Hargeisa in Somaliland. Jon continues to facilitate at the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute in the Philippines.

Gopar Tapkida, MA ‘01 (conflict transformation), Zimbabwe, is pursing a PhD through Africa International University in Kenya and has been assigned to Zimbabwe as the Mennonite Central Committee representative with his wife, Monica. Previously he was MCC’s regional peace advisor in West and Central Africa.

Kaushikee, MA ‘02 (conflict transformation), New Delhi, India, recently became an associate professor with the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution. In August 2013, she published a simple reader on issues in peace and conflict for postgraduate students. She also authored “Gandhian Nonviolent Action: A Case Study of Aung San Suu Kyi’s Struggle in Myanmar” in the December issue of Gandhi Marg, a quarterly journal of the Gandhi Peace Foundation.

Douglas (Doug) Wrenn II ‘02, State College, Pa., is currenly an assistant professor of environmental and resources economics in the department of agricultural economics, sociology, and education at Penn State University.

Jae Young Lee, MA ‘03 (conflict transformation), Seoul, South Korea, founding director of the Korea Peacebuilding Institute and the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute, works as a peace educator, restorative justice practitioner, and mediation trainer. He is one of the first facilitators for the victim-offender reconciliation program in Korea, including at Seoul Family Court, and has conducted various trainings for school personnel, government officers, NGO activists, and organizations in Korea. In addition, Jae Young facilitates a mediation course at Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute in Philippines.

Lam Oryem Cosmas, MA ’04 (conflict transformation), Kampala, Uganda, led a training for county peace mobilizers from six counties of Jonlei in June 2012 with a project of the Sudan Council of Churches called “Peace from the Roots.” It was intended to organize church leaders, representatives of civil society groups, women leaders, and local administrators to form a cohesive group for engaging in transformative peacebuilding in their respective communities, between and among their neighbors.

Rania Kharma, MA ‘04 (conflict transformation), Brussels, Belgium, is currently pursuing a master’s in European policies with the Institut d’études européennes (Institute of European Studies) at the University Catholique de Louvain. The program provides skills and knowledge pertinent to the history and integration of the European Union and its system as a whole, especially with regard to economic integration.

Raghda Quandour, MA ‘04 (conflict transformation), Amman, Jordan, is currently an organizational development expert through Agriteam Canada at the School Directorate Improvement Program, Jordan’s Education Reform for Knowledge Economy.

Rachel Springer, MDiv ‘05, Gerber, Bloomington, Ind., recently became the new half-time denominational minister for youth and young adults on the Leadership Development team of Mennonite Church USA. In her new role, Gerber will provide resources for and facilitate connections between youth and young adult groups and ministries across the church.

Katherine (Katie) Resendiz, MA ‘05 (conflict transformation), Phoenix, Ariz., is program director of Training and Resources United to Stop Trafficking, a multidisciplinary effort to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts in Arizona and ultimately increase public awareness about the crisis as it relates to Arizona’s children. The program works to identify and collaborate with stakeholders, including key lawmakers, law enforcement, medical providers, educators, local and state government officials, business leaders, faith-based community groups, and nonprofit providers and funders.

Jesse Rodriguez ‘05, Keezletown, Va., is currently working at Region 5 Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) at James Madison University under the Virginia Department of Education as the education coordinator. The mission of T/TAC is to improve educational opportunities and contribute to the success of children and youth with disabilities (birth – 22 years). The centers provide quality training and technical assistance in response to local, regional, and state needs. T/TAC services increase the capacity of schools, school personnel, service providers, and families to meet the needs of children and youth.

Doreen Ruto, MA ‘05 (conflict transformation), Nairobi, Kenya, Africa, is currently the director of Daima Initiatives for Peace and Development (DiPaD) Kenya, a national non-governmental organization she founded in 2010. Her organization is currently implementing a program on “Justice that Heals” and looks at ways of expanding the concept of justice to include the needs of both the victims and offenders in society using trauma awareness and resilience approaches in the aftermath of violence. Doreen also works as a consultant and trainer on trauma and peacebuiding and more recently, she represented the CJP/ STAR program at the African Union in Addis Ababa in October 2013,where she presented a paper on “How unhealed trauma is linked to cycles of violence.” Doreen is a STAR trainer and has conducted various STAR trainings in the East Africa and the Great Lakes Region.

Judah Oudshoorn, MA ‘06 (conflict transformation), Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, is a professor of community and criminal justice at Conestoga College, a sessional lecturer in peace and conflict studies at the University of Waterloo, a restorative justice mediator with the Correctional Service of Canada, and a PhD student in social work at the Wilfrid Laurier University. His work centers on making justice systems more trauma informed and finding meaningful ways to hold men accountable who have used violence toward partners and children. Judah also reports that he likes hot coffee, cold beer, warm sunshine, and comfortable chairs, but most importantly, that he is a proud dad and husband.

Justin Shenk ‘06 and Valerie Showalter ‘06, London, United Kingdom, have completed half a year of ministry as community hosts through Mennonite Missions Network (MMN) with their Clapton Park United Reformed Church family in the East End of London, United Kingdom. MMN would appreciate prayers as they learn deeper ways of being Christ’s body with this congregation.

Brian Bloch, MA ‘07 (conflict transformation), Washington D.C. area, has been the ombudsman at the U.S. Department of the Interior since the summer of 2011. He currently serves on the Board of the International Ombudsman Association and volunteers with ISKCONResolve, the integrated conflict management system for the Hare Krishna community.

Jeff From, MA ’07 (conflict transformation), Berea, Ky., is associated with the Horizon Program in Ohio, which has graduated more than 700 inmates, with 90% of those released not returning to prison. The program, currently supported by a $125,000 grant from the state attorney general’s office, teaches inmates everything from computer skills and how to write a resume to how to end an argument.

Rina Kashyap, MA ‘07 (conflict transformation), Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, is pursuing a PhD in human security about the “responsibility to protect” initiative. Rina is also teaching political science (international relations and political theory) and conflict transformation and peacebuilding (gender, violence and human rights, and conflict analysis) at the University of Delhi, Lady Shri Ram College in India.

Godfrey Ntim, Grad. Cert. ‘07, Maputo, Mozambique, program coordinator for Counterpart International, is currently using peacebuilding methods and strategies to execute food security and resiliency development program activities.

Carl (Boomer) Bauman II ‘08, Quakertown, Pa., is a counselor with Carson Valley Children’s Aid (CVCA) in Flourtown, Pa. CVCA is a nonprofit, child welfare agency that supports children and families to learn, heal, and grow by offering families a full continuum of quality services that include; prevention, early intervention, academic, mental health, and child welfare services.

Alan Marr, MA ‘08 (conflict transformation), Victoria, Australia, is one of the pastors at St. Kilda Baptist Church, a relatively small, but courageous congregation in inner-city Melbourne. St. Kilda has developed a reputation for its commitment to supporting people on the margins of society and “[they] have a good time doing it!” As well as his commitment to the church, Alan has a part-time mediation consultancy, working mainly in the nonprofit sector. He also chairs the Peace Commission of the Baptist World Alliance.

Jacqueline (Jackie) Shock, MA ‘08 (conflict transformation), Pittsburgh, Pa., a mental health therapist at Associates in Behavioral Diagnostics & Treatment, is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Pennsylvania.

Christopher (Chris) Yutzy ‘08, originally from Hesston, Kan., is attending the school of anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. Specializing on urban issues in Brazil and Colombia, he is particularly interested in state-led interventions in low-income communities and how such interventions affect local dynamics and resident livelihoods. Currently, Chris is working on a project in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that investigates the effects of Unidade de Policia Pacificadora (Pacification Police Units) that are managing many of these impoverished communities. He plans to graduate with a PhD in May of 2016.

Annette Lantz-Simmons, MA ‘09 (conflict transformation), Kansas City, Mo., executive director of Community Mediation Center, focuses on a three-pronged approach to mediation: (1) Prevention – conflict resolution and restorative justice training and processes for children and youth in schools, churches, and neighborhoods. (2) Education – interpersonal conflict resolution training, mediation training, circle facilitation training, restorative discipline for teachers and parents training, and neighborhood accountability board training. (3) Restoration – transformative mediation for families, neighbors, court cases, students, and divorcing or separating parents, victim-offender dialogue, and neighborhood accountability board facilitation.

Grant Rissler, Grad. Cert. ‘09, Richmond, Va., is currently pursuing a PhD in public policy and administration at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. His research focuses on immigration policy and as such, he is an associate at the Commonwealth Education Policy Institute. Additionally Grant serves as chair of the board of directors for Ten Thousand Villages – Richmond, is a member of the advisory council for Hope in the Cities, and is a member of the newletter committee for Richmond Peace Education Center.

Linda Swanson, MA ‘09 (conflict transformation), Warrenton, Va., has currently completed over 200 hours of training at the ADD Coach Academy and is in the process of completing the final requirements for graduation and certification. Her work so far has been with adults, though she hopes to begin coaching young people as well. Since graduating from CJP, Linda has not worked directly in the field of restorative justice, but hopes to combine it with her current work as a coach for adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Brenda Waugh, MA ‘09 (conflict transformation), Winchester, Va., has opened a new practice in Washington D.C., Brenda Waugh, Attorney at Law, L.C. She is active in the implementation of restorative justice practices in the Eastern Panhandle of Maryland, including victim offender mediation and circle processes.


Valerie Luna Serrels, MA ‘10 (conflict transformation), Harrisonburg, Va., is associate director of Kids vs. Global Warming, with which she is working to strengthen the youth voice as key stakeholders in the climate crisis.

Mary Beth Spinelli, MA ‘10 (conflict transformation), Ontario, N.Y., is a restorative practices coordinator at the Ibero-American Development Corporation (IADC), a local nonprofit community development organization. Her position is a combination of working with people in challenged neighborhoods and using conflict transformation to address local issues. IADC has been working with residents in a low-income, violence-prone neighborhood over the last eight years. Residents have said that their number one concern was drug sales on the streets and in the parks, especially marijuana. IADC built a coalition with a variety of local partners to address the issue and recently received funding. They are working with residents to protect victimized neighborhoods and engage sellers into restorative processes that offer them new opportunities for their lives.

Raad Amer, MA ‘11 (conflict transformation), Harrisonburg, Va., is currently the employment and matching grants specialist for Church World Service. He began in July 2012 after completing two months as a caseworker with Virginia Council of Churches.

Muhammad Asadullah, MA ‘11 (conflict transformation), Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, is the author of “Community Policing and Restorative Justice: Exploring Common Themes and Values,” published in both French and English in the summer issue of Justice Report, by the Canadian Criminal Justice Association.

Ryan Beuthin, MA ‘11 (conflict transformation), Flint, Mich., is living an experiment in peacebuilding as a way of life. He and his family moved to one of America’s most dangerous cities and got a job running a community-oriented restaurant, Flint Crepe Company. He leverages restaurant resources for community development and change, and is part of a church working on racial reconciliation.

Cheryl Woelk, MA ‘11 (conflict transformation), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, is currently working as the LINC and literacy program coordinator for Saskatchewan Intercultural Association. She enjoys bringing a peacebuilding perspective to her work with newcomers to Saskatoon through coordinating programs, facilitating language classes, and assisting the organization’s “Equity and Anti-Racism Committee” with various workshops and events. Cheryl also facilitates a course for international graduate students through the University of Saskatchewan’s Language Centre and coordinates the “Language for Peace” project hosted by Mennonite Partners in China, which provides a network for language educators engaged in peacebuilding.

Timothy (Tim) Heishman ‘12, Tip City, Ohio, has recently undertaken a Brethren Volunteer Service assignment with Youth & Young Adult Ministries (YYAM) in Elgin, Ill. Tim will work in the YYAM office of the Church of the Brethren, helping to plan the denomination’s national youth conference. The 2014 conference will be held at Coloroado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. and its theme is “Called by Christ, Blessed for the Journey Together,” based on Ephesians 4:1-7.

Sandra Kienitz, MA ‘12 (conflict transformation), formerly of Harrisonburg, Va., is working in northern Mexico with communication, organizational development, planning, monitoring, and evaluation. She is the northern program coordinator with Mennonite Central Committee.

Lauren (Cole) Parke, MA ‘12 (conflict transformation), Barnstable, Mass., is an LGBTQ rights researcher with Political Research Associates, a small progressive think-tank located in Boston, Mass. She largely concentrates on tracking right-wing evangelical Christians in the U.S. and the role they play in exporting politicized homophobia and transphobia around the world. Through her research, Cole endeavors to support on-the-ground organizers and activists in developing more strategic approaches to the work of creating a safer and more just world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.

Simone Sommers ‘12 Horst, Harrisonburg, Va., received the 2013 Virginia Library Association (VLA) Scholarship. She has been employed as an archives assistant in the Menno Simons Historical Library at EMU since 2012 and has been active in the VLA ever since. Simone is currently pursuing a master’s in library information science degree from the University of South Carolina and is looking forward to her career in librarianship. Ushering the library into a new era is a hallmark of her work, as she stated in her scholarship application, “I understand that the rapid movement of technology is having a great impact on the library and information science profession and I hope to continue to be a library and information professional who is willing to work with new technologies to create and maintain collections that will be useful to patrons in the digital age.”

John Reesor ‘12, Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, began a one-year term of Mennonite Voluntary Sevice (MVS) in Boulder, Colo., as a program staff member with Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Rooted in local ministries, MVS invites adults, age 20 and older, to explore a vocation to follow Christ within a career. Participants can serve one- or two-year terms in more than 20 locations in the United States. Since the program began more than 60 years ago, thousands of volunteers have had the opportunity to live out their faith through this program of Mennonite Mission Network.

Jennifer (Jenn) Bricker, MA ‘13 (conflict transformation), SEM ‘13, a facilitator with Key Bridge Foundation Community Conferencing Program, now lives in Washington D.C. and works with a restorative justice program in neighboring Prince George’s County, Md., within the Department of Juvenile Services in the county courthouse. She continues to be interested in the intersection of restorative justice, trauma healing, and community building.

Joanne Lauterjung Kelly, MA ‘13 (conflict transformation), Seattle, Wash., began working for Hope International Development Agency in Yangon, Burma. Her areas of focus include training, curriculum design using engage pedagogy, and arts based events.

Courtney Ryan ‘13, Harrisonburg, Va., is currently working for Approved Colleges, LLC as a data analyst.


Ingrid DeSanctis ‘88 to John Hall, June 15, 2013.

Jodi Read, MA ‘03 (conflict transformation) to Alicia Dueck, Sept. 22, 2013.

Linda Panich ‘04 to James Bradford, July 27, 2013.

Peter Derstine ‘05 to Karalyn McGrorty, June 22, 2013.

Zachary Kurtz ‘05 to Akiko Mizuno, Mar. 28, 2013.

Roxy Allen, MA ‘07 (conflict transformation) to Felix Mutinda, July 27, 2013.

Michael Heatwole ‘09 to Kiera Stenson ‘13, July 6, 2013.

Dirk Holsopple ‘10 to Maria Hoover ‘07, Sept. 7, 2013.

Daniel Miller ‘10 to Margaret (Meg) Smeltzer ‘13, Aug. 10, 2013.

Maria Yoder ‘10 to Aaron Billings ‘09, Dec. 29, 2012.

Philip Tieszen ‘11 to Laci Gautsche ‘13, July 12, 2013.

Benjamin (Ben) Bailey ‘12 to Hannah Beachy ‘12, May 4, 2013.

Heidi Bauman ‘12 to Justin King ‘12, July 20, 2013.

Benjamen Delp ‘12 to Grace Engle ‘12, May 5, 2012.

Leah Ott ‘12 to Daniel Claggett, Oct. 6, 2012.

Jesse Weaver ‘12 and Sarah Fields ‘10, Aug. 25, 2012.

Lucas Blosser ‘13 to Jenn Leaman ‘13, Aug. 31, 2013.

Allison Bontrager ‘13 to David Yoder ‘14, July 26, 2013.

Steven (Steve) Burkholder ‘13 to Olivia Nussbaum ‘13, July 13, 2013.

Erin Nussbaum ‘13 to Justin Beeker, May 19, 2013.

Rebecca (Becca) Stoesz ‘13 and Jonathan (Jon) Nagy, class of ‘13, Aug. 4, 2012.

Andre Swartzentruber ‘13 to Jamie Dofflemyer, June 1, 2013.

Births & Adoptions

David, assistant professor of history and mission at EMS, and Faith Evans, Harrisonburg, Va., Sarah Grace Sophia, Dec. 5, 2013.

Jason, director of cross country and track & field, and Wendy Lewkowicz, Harrisonburg, Va., Miles Alexander, July 20, 2013.

Douglas (Doug) ‘91 and Tina Groff ‘95 Friesen, Ephrata, Pa., Chloe Janel, Feb. 12, 2013.

Karen Hertzler ‘95 and Aaron Crist, Milton, Pa., Reuben Maurice, Sept. 8, 2013.

Jarod (Ryan) ‘97 and Holly King, Broadway, Va., Susannah Grace, Nov. 7, 2013.

Michelle Burkholder ’00 and Rebecca Haas ’01, Catonsville, Md., Simon Eugene, Dec. 1, 2013.

Michelle ‘00 and Don Hume, Ashburn, Va., William “Liam” Jay, July 7, 2013.

Jennifer ‘00, MA (conflict transformation) and Kerry Saner-Harvey, GC ‘05, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland, Canada, Halid Robert, July 7, 2013.

Bethany Versluis ‘01 and Peter Fairfield, Harrisonburg, Va., Esau John Paul, June 14, 2013.

Aaron ‘01, MDiv ‘12 and Laura Souder ‘02 Kauffman, Harrisonburg, Va., David Elias, July 7, 2013.

Michelle Zook ‘01 and Mike Kline, Belleville, Pa., Adella Bertha, June 1, 2013.

Derik ‘01 and Laura Trissel, Harrisonburg, Va., Aiden Christopher, July 19, 2013.

Bradley (Brad) ‘02 and Deborah (Deb) Yoder ‘03 Fair, Lancaster, Pa., June Yoder, June 9, 2013.

Nicole Parks ‘02 and William Seeley, Hatfield, Pa., Ruby Jane, Nov. 1, 2013.

Brad Miller ‘02 and Jessica Yoder, Denver, Colo., Cree Caroline, Mar. 22, 2013.

Justin, class of ‘03, and Heather Bauman ‘04 Yoder, Fulks Run, Va., Ellis Boone, Sept. 16, 2013.

David ‘03 and Olivia Roth Brubaker, Philadelphia, Pa., Micah Reed, July 17, 2013.

Olivia Stauffer ‘03 and Daniel Good, Ephrata, Pa., Micah Xavier, June 16, 2013.

Tanya Nissley ‘03 and Chris Holland, Harrisonburg, Va., Maycie Sue, Aug. 13, 2011.

Jae Young Lee, MA ‘03 (conflict transformation) and Karen Spicher ‘02, Seoul, South Korea, Aurie Spicher Lee, Nov. 8, 2013.

Janine Siegrist ‘03 and Luke Mason, Mont Clare, Pa., Madeline Grace, Sept. 9, 2013.

Jewel Mummau ‘03 and Lavern Peachey, Reedsville, Pa., Ella, Dec. 17, 2012.

Adam ‘03 and Emily Wilson, class of ‘03, Starks, Pittsburgh, Pa., Susannah Aeryn, Aug. 21, 2013.

Stephen (Steve) ’04, services support analyst in information systems, and Bethany Gibbs, Port Republic, Va., Eli Robert, Nov. 25, 2013.

Gregory (Greg) ’04 and Blake Grimm, Wayne, Pa., Charles Houston, May 16, 2013.

Molly Hurst ‘04 and Matthew Coiner, Vesuvius, Va., Hannah Noel, Feb. 11, 2012.

Braden (BJ) ‘04 and Sherah-Leigh Zehr ‘04, MDiv ‘09 Gerber, Apple Creek, Ohio, Titus Benjamin, June 5, 2013.

Eric ‘04 and Elizabeth Kennel, Lancaster, Pa., Paxton Charles, Aug. 14, 2013.

Joanna Souder ‘04 and Welby (Clay) Showalter ‘02, Harrisonburg, Va., Ari Phillip, Nov. 2, 2013.

Benjamin (Ben) ‘04 and Meredith Blauch ‘05 Wideman, Souderton, Pa., Alethia Laurel, Oct. 29, 2013.

Tracey King-Ortega, MA ‘05 (conflict transformation), Managua, Nicaragua, twins, Ruby Amanda and Benjamin Desmond.

Phillip (Phil) ‘07 and Laura Sayre ‘08 Baker, Seattle, Wash., Claire Rose, May 11, 2013.

Ryan, MA ‘11 (conflict transformation) and Jacqueline Beuthin, Flint, Mich., Starling Eliot, June 23, 2013.

David ‘11 and Csilla Muscan, Harrisonburg, Va., Christopher James, Oct. 31, 2013.

Claudia, Grad. Cert. ‘11 and Jimmy Winter, Curitiba Parana, Brazil, Jayden, Sept. 17, 2013.

Benjamen ‘12 and Grace Engle ‘12 Delp, Harrisonburg, Va., Naisa Fern, Sept. 28, 2012.


Erma Landis ‘46 Whitmore, Susquehanna, Pa., died Feb. 26, 2013, at age 90. Upon graduation, Erma taught school for many years and was an avid gardener.

Paul M. Landis, class of ‘48, Richfield, Pa., died Oct. 9, 2013, at age 89. He was a member of Cocolamus Mennonite Church. He dedicated his life to God in his youth. In 1950, Paul was ordained a minister of the Gospel, and in 1970, he was ordained bishop. He left a legacy of zeal and faithfulness to God and the church.

Cleora Ropp Yoder, class of ‘51, Wolford, N.D., died Nov. 7, 2013, at age 91. Cleora loved Jesus and wanted to help others to know Him. Before Cleora was married, she was involved in several mission opportunities in northern Minnesota and Michigan. Cleora was a homemaker who worked hard for her family, assisting with some farming operations, especially early in marriage. She was a member of the Salem Mennonite Church, where she participated in church life which included ladies sewing circle and teaching Sunday school and Bible school. She loved people, fellowship, and relationships. She was an easy conversationalist; no one was a stranger to her.

Elsie Cressman, class of ‘53, New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada, died Sept. 11, 2013, at age 90. In 1954, aboard the Queen Mary, Elsie traveled to Tanganyika (now Tanzania) to help set up a leprosy hospital complete with living accomodations for patients and staff. The hospital she established eventually served about 400 patients. In a 2010 MetaMedia television documentary about her return to Africa as an 86-year-old, Elsie reflected, “I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I really enjoyed it.” She stayed in East Africa for 23 years. After the local community took over the hospital, Elsie went to England for two years of midwife training. When she returned to Africa in the mid-1970s, she went to Rusinga Island in Lake Victoria in Kenya to set up a health center there. She delivered more than 1,000 babies during her time at the clinic.

Helen Althouse Rutt, class of ‘54, Lititz, Pa., died Sept. 13, 2013, at age 82. As a registered nurse, she worked at both the Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., and Lancaster General. She worked for eight years with Mennonite Central Committee in medical missions to Indonesia and helped with the medical work of her husband, Clarence, for a number of years after that. Helen was a member of the Landisville Mennonite Church since 1971 where she served as lay minister of evangelism, secretary to the pastor, summer Bible school teacher, and was active in their share group. She enjoyed hosting, serving as coordinator for LOVE, Inc., participating in neighborhood Bible study, gardening, preserving food, crossword puzzles, needlework, sending aid after the tsunami in Indonesia, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

June Marie Weaver, class of ‘55, Harrisonburg, Va., died on Aug. 2, 2013, at age 83. She was employed by Dr. John T. Glick in Broadway as his first nurse, the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, and Valley Children’s Clinic. She was a member of Harrisonburg Mennonite Church for over 60 years, where she was active in leadership in the women’s orga-nizations, including a weekly Wednesday evening meal, manager of the Women’s Missionary Service Organization and also managed the hospitality committee. She spent decades writing to persons in ministry, college, and service work. She often did quiet behind-the-scenes work and was dedicated to her family.

Lois Miller Hartman, class of ‘58, Goshen, Ind., died Sept. 28, 2013, at age 78. She was a teacher at Central Christian High School in Kidron, Ohio and co- pastored with her husband, Wilmer, at Central Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio and Sycamore Grove Mennonite Church in Garden City, Mont., before retiring to Goshen. Lois also led tours of Switzerland and the Holy Land and was considered a pioneer for women’s leadership in the church. Lois loved her children and grandchildren, singing, laughing, cooking, and crossword puzzles.

Herman Reitz, SEM ‘58, Harrisonburg, Va., died Oct. 6, 2013, at age 81. An Eastern Mennonite Seminary and Bible & religion department faculty member for over 40 years, Herman was a committed Christian. He pastored Mennonite congregations in Richmond, Mt. Jackson, and Dayton, Va., taught adult Sunday school, was a chaplain’s associate at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, a “Meals on Wheels” volunteer, and a Mennonite World Review correspondent.

Willis Horst, class of ‘64, Goshen, Ind., died on Sept. 1, 2013, at age 74. Willis worked for the Mennonite Mission Network in accompaniment with the indigenous United Evangelical Church in northern Argentina from 1971 to 2010. He developed the Bible Circle, a conversational format that encourages indigenous people to explore their spirituality and the values of Jesus within their own culture.

Allan Eugene (Gene) Reynolds ‘67, Tulsa, Okla., died unexpectedly after a brief illness on Aug. 4, 2013, at age 70. Gene was an affectionate, generous, and inspiring husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He had a career as a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist in private practice in Tulsa, while residing on his ranch in Jennings. He was a gifted therapist and formidable expert witness. Gene was a force of nature with infectious optimism and enthusiasm. He encouraged others to walk tall, hold their head high, explore their world both inside and out, and above all, to be kind.

Marcella Tams ‘74, Harrisonburg, Va., died Aug. 18, 2013, at age 68. She was employed by Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation, where she touched the lives of many neighborhood youth. Marcella was later employed by Merck, before recently retiring.

Sharon Sacra ‘81 Lehman, Harrisonburg, Va., died May 20, 2013, at age 54. She was a stay-at-home mother, home schooled her children for part of their school years, and drove a school bus for Rockingham County. Mrs. Lehman loved to travel with her family. She was a member of the Harrisonburg Mennonite Church where she was employed as a church secretary.

James (Jim) Roynon, MDiv ‘86, Archbold, Ohio, died Aug. 2, 2013, at age 62. After graduating from Findlay College with a BA in both vocal and instrumental music, Jim taught vocal music for almost 10 years before answering his call to ministry. He would go on to faithfully serve West Clinton Mennonite Church for 19 years and the greater Mennonite church until his retirement in 2012. Jim will be remembered for his faithfulness to Christ, pastoral care, love of music and passive-resistance. He was active in leadership for the Northwest Ohio Emmaus community. His past devotion of time and service to the Peace Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA and his commitment to Christian Peacemaker Teams will not be forgotten.

Wendy Weick ‘00, Louisville, Ky., died Feb. 19, 2013, at age 52. She was a member of Ascension Lutheran Church and active in community service.

Geoffrey (Geoff ) Sakuda ‘04, died July 23, 2013, at age 34.

Annette Lenker ‘06, Williamsport, Md., died Oct. 14, 2013, at age 33. Annette enjoyed participating and leading church camp from her youth. She found great joy and fulfillment in working and teaching children. Her ambition was to eventually serve as a missionary to Guatemala. Annette’s essence could be summarized as being thoughtful and giving. She loved her family and especially her nieces and nephew. The greatest joy of her life was knowing Jesus Christ as her Savior. She was employed as the director of Heifer Global Village at Shepherd’s Spring located in Sharpsburg, Md.


CLASS OF – attended as part of the class of a given graduation year
HS – high school degree from era when high school and college were one
MA – master of arts
MDiv – master of divinity
SEM – attended the seminary

Editorial Policy

Milepost entries regarding alumni employment, degrees obtained from other universities, marriages, 50-year and 60-year anniversaries, births, adoptions, and deaths are printed on the basis of submissions from alumni or on the basis of publicly available information. We do not do further research to verify the accuracy of the information that alumni provide us,
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.

Mileposts is compiled by Braydon Hoover ’11, who may be reached at braydon.hoover@emu.edu or at 540-432-4294. Send news directly to Braydon or to alumni@emu.edu.