Spring/Summer 2016 Mileposts

May 24th, 2016


David Brubaker, professor of organizational studies, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, will begin as director of the MBA program in the fall of 2016. David has taught at CJP since 2004 and in the MBA program since 2006. He takes over from Professor Jim Leaman ’86, who has directed the MBA program for the past five years and continues as chair of the business department.

Steve Cessna, professor of biochemistry, has been named the Daniel B. Suter Endowed Professor of Biology. The appointment was previously held by Professor Roman Miller, who retired this spring.

Abraham Davis was honored in November 2015 with a chapel service for his work as director of the Cross-Cultural Center from 1980-85, the precursor to today’s Multicultural Student Services.

Cathy Smeltzer Erb ’85, professor of education and chair of the undergraduate education department, has been named the Jesse T. Byler Endowed Chair, a position which was vacant since the retirement of former director Don Steiner.

David Glanzer ’71, professor of counseling, received the Career Service Award from the Virginia Counselors Association in November 2015. David has taught for 20 years in the MA in Counseling program, which he co-founded. He retires this spring after 30 years at EMU.

Nancy Heisey SEM ’94, professor of Bible and religion, moves into a half-time position as associate dean of Eastern Mennonite Seminary in fall 2016. She will also teach half-time at the undergraduate level. Former associate dean Lonnie Yoder will move back into a half-time teaching role.

Justin Poole, professor of theater, was commissioned by Asbury United Methodist Church to adapt and perform “The Gospel Project: A Theatrical Journey through the Life of Jesus Christ” for their Sacred Arts Series. Adjunct faculty members Holly Labbe and David Vogel, as well as student Ezrionna Prioleau assisted in the January performances.

Lisa Schirch, research professor, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, published a training manual, Handbook on Human Security: A Civil-Military-Police Curriculum, culminating a three-year project with support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Lisa is now senior policy advisor at the Alliance for Peacebuilding.

Matt Ruth ’06 was named director of admissions this fall. He was previously associate director of admissions.

Jennifer Ulrich, technical services librarian, Sadie Hartzler Library, has been elected to serve  a three-year term on the American Theological Library Association’s (ATLA) Board of Directors.

Nate Yoder, professor of church history, Eastern Mennonite Seminary, will increase his hours as university archivist, as he aids historian Don Kraybill on the Centennial history and continues processing work on the Joseph Lapp and Loren Swartzendruber presidential archives. Nate will continue to supervise the MA in Religion theses and degree projects for the MA in Church Leadership.

Howard Zehr, professor emeritus of restorative justice, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, was awarded the Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award in Peace and Justice Studies by the Peace and Justice Studies Association in October 2015.

Retiring staff include Jan Gerber, information officer (23 years); Jack Rutt, special projects manager and former director of information technology (16 years); Linda Alley, administrative assistant for events, director of the Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation and of the Congregational Resource Center, Eastern Mennonite Seminary (27 years); Eldon Kurtz, director of the physical plant (28 years); Betty Hertzler, postal supervisor (41 years);  David Glanzer, who co-founded and taught in the counseling program (39 years of service); Spencer Cowles, professor of business and economics (27 years); Roman Miller, founder and director of the MA in Biomedicine program (31 years); Don Clymer, professor of language and literature and former director of cross cultural programs (17 years); Ted Grimsrud, professor of Bible and religion (20 years), and Pamela Rutt, education graduate program director at EMU Lancaster (18 years)


Carol Bowers ’71, Rock Hill, S.C., retired from Family Practice Physicians after 25 years. She and husband Dale attend Westminster Presbyterian Church, where she participates in weekly Bible study and hospital visitation as a partner of the Pastor Care Team. She also enjoys reading and being with her grandchildren.

Susan Brenneman ’72, Lansdale, Pa., was honored by Christopher Dock Mennonite High School as Alumni of the Year in Outstanding Achievement. Susan is a researcher in health, economics and outcomes at Optum. She has authored and co-authored book chapters and journals. Susan earned a PhD in policy research, evaluation and measurement at the University of Pennsylvania. Brent Godshalk ‘79 was also honored (see below).

David E Bucher ’74, Fairfax, Va., retired from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board after 35 years of government service. He was an administrative trademark law judge for 17 years.

Conley McMullen ’78, Harrisonburg, Va., is a professor of biology at James Madison University. He received the Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award in 2016. He also received the Provost Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship in 2014.

Brent Godshalk ’79, Cary, N.C., was honored by Christopher Dock Mennonite High School as Alumni of the Year in Outstanding Achievement. After receiving his PhD from North Carolina State University, he spent three years with Mennonite Central Committee working in cropping systems research in Bangladesh. He administered muliple plant science research programs with his work with BASF Plant Science and Syngenta. He is currently serving as a consultant for Plant Impact in Cary. Susan Brenneman ’72, was also an honoree (see above).


Dottie Baumgarten ’80, Glenside, Pa., has earned an award for community impact from the Business Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Dottie founded Sustainable Choices LLC in 2009 to provide environmental education and consultation. She was previously an elementary school science teacher.

Evon Bergey ’81, Perkasie, Pa., has been named vice president of community initiatives at Landis Communities. Since 2000, Evon held a variety of leadership positions within Magellan Healthcare, including chief operations officer, interim, for Magellan Complete Care of Florida. Evon chaired the EMU Presidential Search Committee.

Dan Mast ’82, Willow Street, Pa., closed his private medical practice and is the medical director of the Wound Center at Lancaster General Hospital.

Michael W. Miller ’82, Boonsboro, Md., is a part-time agent with Long and Foster Real Estate. He also owns and operates music schools in Boonsboro and Frederick, where he teaches piano, violin, brass, woodwind and percussion to learners of all ages. He and his wife, Elena, who is from Russia, celebrated their 10th anniversary this year. They have a six-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.

Phil Wenger ’82, Lancaster, Pa., was named chief executive director of the Lancaster County Conservancy.

Regina Fay Chacha ’85, Martinsville, Va., is executive director at Teamwork Ministries after the death in April 2015 of her husband, John Nick Chacha ’84 (see Spring/Summer 2015 Crossroads). In 2007, the couple started Teamwork City of Hope, a children’s home, primary school and medical center in John’s home village of Ntagacha, Tanzania. A new goal is the construction of a school to be named the Dr. John Chacha Secondary School. See www.teamworkcityofhope.com.

Natalie Davis Wood ’85 Leonard, Roanoke, Va., graduated from Radford University in 2015 with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, with a concentration as a family nurse practitioner. Certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, she is a nurse practitioner at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare.

Deana Moren ’86 Baker, Goshen, Ind., was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in April. At Bremen High School, she was their all-time leading scorer. As the leading scorer for three seasons at EMU, she totaled 1,080 points, setting season (85.7%) and career (83.7%) free throw percentage records. She was the 1986 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a two-time honorable mention All-American. Deana is a member of the EMU Athletic Hall of Honor. She is assistant professor of biology with Thomas University.

Rodney Alderfer ’87, Harrisonburg, Va., has been elected to the board of directors for Pioneer Network, a national nonprofit that advocates for person-directed care at long-term care facilities. Rodney is president of Bridgewater Retirement Community.

Nelson Witmer ’87, Columbiana, Ohio, accompanied his father, Ralph Witmer, and son Alex Witmer ’15 to Poland in November 2015. Ralph was a “seagoing cowboy” with Brethren Relief Services and had not returned to the country for 69 years. All nine of Ralph’s children attended Eastern Mennonite University, and seven grandchildren are also alumni. The family owns Witmers, Inc. and Das Dutch Village.

Todd Shenk ’88, Seattle, Wash., was selected as a Presidio Institute Fellow. Todd  is senior director of strategic engagement and initiatives at Casey Family Programs, which is dedicated to safely eliminating the need for foster care. From 2011-2014, Todd served as a special assistant in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, working on issues of housing, homelessness and child welfare.

John Lichty ’89, Goshen, Indiana, grabs a jump rope for some Parkside Elementary School students practicing for Jump Rope for Heart celebrations. He teaches physical education to approximately 750 students at Parkside and Chamberlain elementary schools in Goshen, Indiana, where he lives with wife Emily and sons Jacob and Carlos (see page 28).


Tim Schultz ’90, Newfane, N.Y., serves in various ministries in Buffalo, which includes directing a coffee house at Newfane’s First Baptist Church.

Ruth Hoover ’94 Zimmerman MA ‘02 (counseling), Fairfax, Va., is senior program quality advisor for South Asia and the Pacific with World Vision US.

John Wilkinson ’96, Waynesboro, Va., is Augusta County’s director of community development, supervising a staff of 15 involved in planning, zoning, engineering and building inspections. Previously he had been a zoning administrator for 16 years.


Sandie J. Russell-Vickers ‘00, Lakeland, Fla., has retired but continues to volunteer counseling services to individuals dealing with life stresses.

Thaddeus May ’02, Overland Park, Kan., presented a November Suter Science Seminar about his experiences as a pediatrician with childhood nutrition and the lethal disease, kwashiorkor. Thaddeus worked with Mennonite Central Committee at a therapeutic feeding center in rural Mozambique before attending EMU. He earned his medical degree at University of Kansas in 2007.

Kevin Steiner ’02, Boston, Mass., is currently training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in the Global Health Equity Residency. After attending EMU, he spent one year at the National Cancer Institute before earning his MD and PhD at Case Western Reserve University. Kevin returned to campus in February to give a Suter Science Seminar on hepatitis C.

Laura Rosenberger ’03, New York, N.Y., is a surgical breast oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She recently passed the surgical boards after a residency at University of Virginia. Laura presented a Suter Science Seminar in February about her residency experiences.

Denver Steiner ’04, Orrville, Ohio, and his father Dallas were keynote speakers at the 2015 MEDA Convention, sharing how their company Venture Products aims to be a spiritual force and a leading manufacturer of compact tractors. The family-run company was also featured in the March/April 2016 edition of MEDA Marketplace.

Chris Fretz ’05 and Lindsey Fyre ’04 Fretz began a three-year term with Mennonite Central Committee and partner organizations in Chiapas, Mexico, in July 2015. Lindsey is working on ecumenical bridgebuilding and Chris is working on issues of indigenous migration. Their daughters are Ramona and Ruthie.

Lindsay Martin ’05, Harrisonburg, Va., was elected to a three-year term on the Harrisonburg Friendly City Food Co-Op board. She is associate director of development for the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

John Neiswander ’05, Philadelphia, Pa., is a Spanish interpreter at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Ben Weaver ’05, Green Lane, Pa., was a guest speaker at the 2016 Honors Weekend, which brings prospective Honor students to campus. Ben is using his business administration degree to help run the family business, Alderfer Glass, headquartered in Telford and with three other locations in Pennsylvania.

Casey Armstrong ’06, Rockingham, Va., recently visited EMU to talk to environmental sustainability majors about his position as director of community development. He also oversees the Environmental Services Department, which is involved in the provision of public facilities and services, diverse housing opportunities, and use of land resources.

Timothy Fitzgerald ’06, Staunton, Va., became the Augusta County Administrator in January, hired from among a pool of more than 31 applicants from 12 different states, according to a local newspaper. He previously worked for the county as its director of community development.

Kim Slee ’06, MSN ’12, Orrstown, Pa., was promoted to chief operating officer at Fulton County Medical Center. She is enrolled in an MBA program in healthcare administration at Eastern University.

Jonathan Keener ’07, Winona Lake, Ind., works at the Christian Performing Artists’ Fellowship, as he and his wife Claire prepare to be missionaries and music teachers in East Asia. After graduation from EMU, Jonathan studied in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at James Madison University, the only piano student ever admitted without first receiving a master’s degree. After graduating from JMU in 2011, he was an adjunct professor and maintained a studio of about 20 students.

Allison Glick ’10, Pittsburgh, Pa., was a guest speaker at Honors Weekend with Ben Weaver ’05. Allison, who has a degree in chemistry, recently concluded two years at Village Acre Farm in Mifflintown and is working as a STEM curriculum coordinator at Neighborhood Learning Alliance, as well as on the nursery staff at Tree Pittsburgh.

Kaleb Wyse ’10 and Joel Kratzer ’10, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, are partners on a home-and-hearth blog called “The Gray Boxwood.” The duo produced a 60-second video that won chef Rachel Ray’s “Dreamjobbing” competition. Kaleb co-hosted a November 2015 show with Rachel Ray.


Sam Berenstain ’11, Harrisonburg, Va., was elected to a three-year term with the Harrisonburg Friendly City Food Co-op.

Allison Byler ’11 Peachey, Belleville, Pa., and her husband Chase have taken over operation of the Peachey family dairy farm. When Allison is not helping on the farm, she works as a registered nurse on a PRN basis at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital.

Maria Zehr ’11, Harrisonburg, Va., organized an Encore! concert fundraiser in February that also honored President Loren Swartzendruber. The concert included students, faculty and alumni. Maria is a board member of Encore, the alumni group that supports the music department. She teaches at Cub Run Elementary School in McGaheysville.

Blair Wilner ’13, earned his Master of Theological Studies at Duke University Divinity School in May 2015. In August 2015, Blair attended the Ludwig Wittgenstein Summer School and the 38th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Blair currently works in development and alumni relations at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and is applying to doctoral programs in theology.

Eric King ’14, McMurdo Station, Antarctica, supports scientists on the southernmost continent with a 57-hour work week. He is a dining attendant, on the janitorial staff, a coffee house worker and shuttle driver.

Kara Lofton ‘14, Morgantown, W.Va., is the Appalachia Health News Coordinator at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, a member station of NPR. Prior to this, she was a freelance reporter for WMRA, an affiliate with NPR serving the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville in Virginia.

Katie Eckman ’15, Quarryville, Pa., is an RN at York Well-Span Hospital on the med-telemetry floor (heart and breathing issues).

Michelle Zook ’15 Spicher, Belleville, Pa., is in the Masters in Social Work program at Temple University.

Bryce Yoder ’15, Harrisonburg, Va., concluded a fall assignment at Yosemite National Park in vegetation restoration with the Student Conservation Association. He manages the BruCrew business and volunteers with the Valley Conservation Council.

Marla zumFelde ’15, Goshen, Ind., is in a one-year term of Mennonite Voluntary Service in Seattle, Washington, as community service representative with Rainier Health and Fitness.

Special Education Edition

Miriam Housman ‘53, Lititz, Pa., volunteers as a teacher of African culture to church and community groups. She began her career at Locust Grove School and then in Philadelphia at a Quaker school, where she was known as “Teacher Miriam.” With husband J. Harold Housman ‘49, she moved to Africa, where she taught and raised her family in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria. When the family returned stateside, she taught again at the same two schools. Among her colleagues were Principal Mirabel Kraybill ‘53 and David King ‘76, who was a physical education teacher and now is athletic director at EMU.

Dwight Beachy ’63, Mylo, N.D., teaches part-time in the Adult Learning Center at Turtle Mountain Community College, working with primarily Native American students on GED preparation. Dwight began his career at the Bible Academy at Nazareth, Ethiopia, where he taught for seven years after graduation. In 1972, his congregation in North Dakota started Salem Mennonite School where he was principal for 19 years, teaching most of that time. He also taught science in the local public schools before his retirement.

Rachel Diener ’74, with student Kassidy Arsenault, has worked for 23 years at the EMU Early Learning Center.  Diener was an assistant teacher from 1993-1997, and a teacher from 1998-2004 before becoming the director. Based in a few blocks from EMU at Park View Mennonite Church, the center offers both learning for children ages 2-5, and practicum experiences for EMU education students in the early childhood and elementary education majors.  Diener estimates that more than 500 education students have spent time at the laboratory school.

Miles E. Yoder ’79 was  named principal of Lancaster Mennonite School’s Hershey campus in Pennsylvania. He continues as LMS assistant superintendent. Among other changes, Yoder is leading the addition of online Chinese courses. He’s also added a new Bible elective course, as well as increasing the number of weekly chapel services.

Elwood E. Yoder ‘81, Harrisonburg, Va., chairs the Bible department at Eastern Mennonite School, where he also teaches history. He has master’s degrees from Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh. A 33-year teaching veteran, Elwood has published several books, including histories of Weavers Mennonite Church, Zion Mennonite Church and Bishop Martin Burkholder, and two historical novels. He is editor of the quarterly periodical, Shenandoah Mennonite Historian. He and wife Joy Risser ‘81 Yoder, a self-employed seamstress, have three adult children. For more information about his published works, visit http://www.elwoodyoder.net/

Carol Speigle ‘85 Landon, Crisfield, Md., was honored for 30 years as a first-grade teacher at Holly Grove Christian School in Westover.

Douglas Lehman ’85, Washington D.C., is senior education specialist for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). He is the country lead for Chad, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Mali. GPE supports 61 developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education.

Teachers Neil Reinford ’88, Janelle Thomas ’95, and Todd Bowman, class of ’94, SEM ’15; and Elizabeth Landis GC ’06 (conflict transformation), principal, are involved in a new problem-based learning curriculum. Recent themes have included systems, collaboration, tipping points and manufacturing.

John Lichty ‘89, Goshen, Ind., teaches physical education at Parkside and Chamberlain elementary schools. John shared that the values he learned at EMU are still ever-present in his teaching: he especially noted the guidance of advisor Jay B. Landis; the help of Professor Don Clymer in the acquisition of Spanish, a language John uses in his teaching; and the influence of professors Orv Gingerich, Patti Helton, John Denlinger and Sandy Brownscombe in teaching health and wellness “with care and respect for all students and the skills they bring.” He and wife Emily have two sons, Jacob and Carlos. (See photo on page 33.)

Patricia (Patty) Baer ‘90, MA ‘16 (TESOL),  Harrisonburg, Va., is a lead ESL teacher at Waterman Elementary School in Harrisonburg, where she’s taught for 16 years. She also co-teaches an ESL methods course for Harrisonburg City Schools  staff through James Madison University.

Denise Diener ’92, Goshen, Ind., is a teacher to English learners at West Goshen Elementary School. Her husband, Gilberto Perez ’94, is senior director of intercultural development and educational partnerships at Goshen College.

Arlin Roth ’93 is an instructional technology specialist at Bellefonte Area School District in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. “The job that I hold did not exist when I attended EMU,” he says. Arlin is a Google For Education certified trainer and has been an instructor/facilitator for Eduspire graduate courses. Prior to Bellefonte, he worked in the same position with Spring Cove School District. He and wife Geri have two daughters, Anna and Rebecca.

Ryan Lehman ‘94, Sarasota, Fla., is now superintendent of Sarasota Christian School. Previously  he was director of special education at Blacklick Valley School District in Nanty Glo, Pa. He and his family served with Mennonite Central Committee in Israel/Palestine from 2007-2010.

Crystal Campbell ‘95, Harrisonburg, Va., teaches fifth grade in Harrisonburg City Schools. She has travelled to Haiti for mission work at an orphanage five times since 2011. She is in the process of adopting two children from Haiti.

Carmen Miller ’96, Harrisonburg, Va., teaches in the EMU Early Learning Center and also works part-time in EMU’s Campus Ministries. Initially uncomfortable in the traditional classroom setting, Carmen was mentored by psychology professor Judy Mullet ’73 to pursue alternatives. After graduation, she spent a year of voluntary service teaching environmental education at Amigo Centre, a camp and retreat center in Michigan. She stayed on as program coordinator for seven years, teaching marsh ecology, animal tracking and canoeing, among other subjects. “I’ve continued teaching in non-traditional ways: early childhood music, religious education on a bus outfitted as a classroom, homeschooling my own children and now at ELC,” Carmen says. “I’m grateful for the gift of a caring professor, like Judy, who mentored me in the midst of my uncertainty.”

Jill Leaman Milton ‘05 lives in Lancaster, Pa., with her husband, Nate, a guidance counselor with Hempfield School District, and their three children, Rielle, 5, Isaac, 2.5, and Jensen, 5 months. Nate is in the MA in education program and Jill is earning a reading specialist certificate at EMU Lancaster. Jill taught at Lafayette Elementary School in Lancaster, then at Rosslyn Academy in Kenya from 2008-2011. She then taught at New Danville Mennonite School until becoming a full-time mom. She subs and volunteers in the classroom.

Katrina J. Martin ‘07 Yoder, Harrisonburg, Va., has taught for nine years at Waterman Elementary School. She works regularly with EMU practicum students and student teachers “as an opportunity to pass on the education and mentoring I received at EMU.” Her husband, Paul (see below) joins the EMU education faculty in fall 2016.

Joy Shaiebly ’07 Shelly, Manheim, Pa., who earned her certification in K-12 health and PE, works at Bright Horizons-Hildebrant Learning Center.

Paul J. Yoder ‘06, MA ‘11 (education), Harrisonburg, Va., earned his PhD in education from the University of Virginia in 2016. He returns to teach in the EMU education department in fall 2016. Paul taught at Thomas Harrison Middle School, hosting two EMU student student teachers, before moving to full-time doctoral studies.

Raluca Snyder MA ’08 (education), Lancaster, Pa., is supervisor of instructional programs and a Title I and III administrator with Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13. She earned her EdD at Immaculata University.

Jared Byler ’09, Thompsontown, Pa., is a third-grade teacher and principal at Belleville Mennonite School, where he works with several EMU alumni. “I am very fond of my years at EMU and truly believe I would not be the educator or administrator I am today without the guidance of several professors, which include Toni Flannigan, Judy Wilfong and Katrina Maynard,” he wrote.

David Donaldson MA ‘10, a special education teacher with the City of York, is working on his dissertation in the educational leadership doctoral program at Immaculata University.  “… Not only were those interactions with fellow classmates [at EMU Lancaster] fruitful, I also had the privilege of learning from outstanding instructors. The tenets of constructivism, peacebuilding and restorative justice permeated and enriched my course of study.” At his graduation in June 2010, he was joined by his wife, two children, mother, sister and niece “on a picture-perfect day I hope never to forget.”

Alyssa Cable ‘14 Green, Harrisonburg, Va., is a kindergarten teacher at Stone Spring Elementary School.

Kierra Stutzman ’14 Sauder, Mount Crawford, Va., teaches high school English at Blue Ridge Christian School in Bridgewater. She is married to Derek Sauder ’14.


Tammy Krause MA ’99 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP), has been selected for the center’s Alumni Award for Outstanding Service.  Krause, a resident of Harrisonburg, Virginia, has worked on federal capital cases throughout the United States for the past 19 years. Her involvement in the legal profession began as a graduate student at CJP, when she joined Professor Howard Zehr at the invitation of capital defense attorneys to work with victims of the Oklahoma City bombings. She pioneered defense-victim outreach.

Jonathan Rudy MA ’01, Washington D.C., is senior advisor for human security at the Alliance for Peacebuilding, a position vacated by CJP Research Professor Lisa Schirch. The alliance advocates for more than 100 member peacebuilding organizations. Rudy formerly was the Peacemaker-in-Residence for Elizabethtown College’s Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking as well as professor of peace and conflict studies.

Ali Gohar MA ’02, Bradford, U.K, was one of 10 honorees to be awarded a Dewey Winburne Community Service Award at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. The award, named after festival co-founder Dewey Winburne, recognizes service in education and technology. Gohar, a native of Afghanistan and the first recipient of the CJP Alumni Award, was recognized for his work promoting conflict resolution through jirgas – an ancient network of community-justice councils and for his advocacy on behalf of Afghan refugees.

Jeremy Simons MA ’02, Mindanao, Philippines, works in various peacebuilding activities, including facilitating discussions between tribal leaders and the Norwegian third party mediator for the peace process between the government and the Maoist-Communist insurgency. He has also conducted a restorative justice training and consultation in Manila and is working again with tribal communities facing the challenge of large-scale mining in their ancestral domain.

Gary Shapiro MA ’06, Montpelier, Vt., is an interfaith minister and has started a wedding business at his farm with his wife Helen Miller-Shapiro. He also is a hospital chaplain, and leads Unitarian Universalist worship services, life transition rituals and celebrations. His website is www.reverendgaryshapiro.com.

Pushpi Weerakoon MA ’10, Colombo, Sri Lanka, works at Transparency International, coordinating www.opengovpartnership.org on behalf of civil society organizations in collaboration with the Sri Lankan government.

Gwendolyn Myers GC ’14, Washington D.C., has been appointed regional coordinator for West and Central Africa by the United Network of Young Peacebuilders. She is currently a fellow at the Center for Women, Faith and Leadership with the Institute for Global Engagement. Gwen is founder and executive director of Messengers for Peace-Liberia.

Patrick Campbell ’12, MA ’14, Charlottesville, Va., will be working with the Red Cross Division Disaster Response Team, which deploys around the nation to support regional Red Cross efforts in managing disaster operations.

Katrina M. Gehman MA ’15, Washington D.C., is an analyst at U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute where she completed her practicum.

Roseline Anyango Onunga GC ’15, Kisumu, Kenya, is CEO of Local Capacities for Peace International.


James L. Foster SEM ’60, Knoxville, Tenn., independently published Holy Humanity: We Are All Made of God Stuff. He is working on two additional books.

Dennis McAdams SEM ’84, Solomon Islands, is retired but remains active in social and community services and a variety of ministries. He lives with his wife, Effie, in her home village of Hopongo, Rendova in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.

Steve Landis ’77, SEM ’86, Rockingham, Va., is chaplain of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community after serving as pastor of Franconia Mennonite Church, Telford, Pa. for 20 years.

Warren Tyson SEM ’88, Brownstown, Pa., retired after 17 years as a conference minister in two area conferences and 16 years as a congregational pastor. He plans to stay “somewhat active,” to travel with his wife, and “step back from any church leadership role” in the future.

Becky Hess SEM ’10, Lancaster, Pa., is the human resource director at Eastern Mennonite Missions, where she manages HR and care for EMM personnel, including crisis and trauma care.

Michael Baker SEM ’12, works for Eastern Mennonite (EMM) in Guinea-Bissau, with wife Karen and children Jada, 13; Isaiah, 7; Micah, 8; Josiah, 10; and Lydia, 12. With fellow EMM worker Dave Shirk, Michael recently oversaw the construction and opening of a new Catel clinic, with a prenatal care room, lab, pharmacy, wound care room, three beds for overnight observation, indoor bathrooms, and a shower. The clinic was started by Beryl Forrester and had been based out of various temporary locations, among them a disused cashew processing plant.

LaDawn Knicely SEM ’15 founded Hometown Realty Group, in Dayton, Va. Her firm donates all net profit to Hometown Rescue Mission and Ministry, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that ministers to the homeless, individuals with addictions and local formerly incarcerated residents. The ministry plans to build and operate a residence. LaDawn is a licensed pastor in the Church of the Brethren and a pastoral counselor.

A panel of Eastern Mennonite Seminary alumni provided wit, wisdom and constructive criticism on the topic, “What Seminary Never Taught Me,” with seminary students and faculty at a March 17 Lenten lunch. The panel consisted of Clayton Payne SEM ’14, Sherando UMC, Luis Martinez SEM ’15 from Iglesia Discipular Anabautista, Jeff Carr SEM ’05 from Bridgewater Church of the Brethren, Dawn Monger SEM ’10 from Lindale Mennonite Church, and Peter Eberly SEM ’07 from Eastside Church.


Manny ’94 and Kristie Nunez, Alexandria, Va., Samuel Laureano, June 1, 2015.

Jason ’99 and Janelle ’01 Myers-Benner, Keezletown, Va., Terah Cybil Elizabeth Myers, October 11, 2015.

Patrick ’00, SEM ‘06 and Christine Lehman ’00, SEM ’06, Nafziger, Millersburg, Ohio, Kaitlyn Marie, Feb. 11, 2016.

Michelle Zook ’01 and Mike Kline, McVeytown, Pa., Scott Russel, April 10, 2015.

Christopher ’01 and Allison Longenecker, Shaker Heights, Ohio, Madeline Grace Longenecker-Webel, June 27, 2013.

Mark Miller ’02 and Hillary Jackson, Brooklyn N.Y., Ruby Quinn, Aug. 09, 2015.

Wendell ’02 and Lisa Hawkins ’04 Shank, Harrisonburg, Va., Ruben Emmaus Hawkins Shank, Oct. 2, 2015.

Alex ’02 and Shannon Lamb ’03 Yoder, Rockingham, Va., Abby Kate, Aug. 6, 2015.

Devon Yoder ’02, Denver Colo., Zadie Marie, Jan. 3, 2013 and Frederick Gregory, May 23, 2015.

Charity Shenk ’02 and Steven Zook, Akron, Pa., Kai Shenk Zook, Feb. 14, 2015.

Eloy ’03 and Becky Lengacher ’04 Rodriguez, Lancaster, Pa., Sarah Paige, April 30, 2015.

Nick ’04 and Jessica Lusby ’05 Buckwalter, Lititz, Pa., Abigail Susanna, March 14, 2015.

Muzna Al-Masri MA ’05 and Ahma Barclay, Shouran Beirut, Lebanon, Yazan Barclay, April 6, 2015.

Holly Crosby ’05 Durham, Churchville, Va., Avery Crosby, Sept. 17, 2014.

Trevor ’06 and Jenee High ’06 Bare, Mount Joy, Pa., Evelyn Joy, Sept. 10, 2014.

Holden ’06 and Heidi Bowman ’04 Byler, Penn Laird, Va., Kiara Grace, Dec. 6, 2015.

Dominick ’07 and Kara Stoltzfus ’07 Porter, Harrisonburg, Va., Adrian Garrett, July 27, 2015.

Bradley ’08, SEM ’15, and Lindsey Roeschley ’07 Kolb, Harrisonburg, Va., Mabel Elizabeth, Dec. 27, 2015.

Erika Detweiler ’09 and Nicholas (Nick) Detweiler-Stoddard, ’09, MDV ‘12, Freeman, S.D., Jace and Luke, Oct. 23, 2015.

Muigai Ndoka MA ’10 (conflict transformation) and Valeria Ndoka, Harrisonburg, Va., Joel Edmund, April 16, 2015.

Matt ’10 and Rachel Kauffman ’10 Ropp, Harrisonburg, Va., Eli Ray, Aug. 9, 2015.

Grace Schrock-Hurst ’10 and Yugo Prasetyo, Indonesia, Simeon Luke, Dec. 11, 2015.

Allison Byler ’11 and Chase Peachey, Belleville, Pa., Reese Olivia, Feb. 8, 2015.

Austin ’13 and Sarah Schoenhals ’12 Showalter, Harrisonburg, Va., Andre Linden Jay, Jan. 20, 2016-April 11, 2016.

Brittany Robertson, GC ’14 (conflict  transformation), Powell, Wyo., Beverly Pearl, April 14, 2015.

Matthew (recycling crew leader) and Rachel Freed, Harrisonburg, Va., Maple Eyre, Jan. 5, 2016.

Dave (admissions counselor) and Amy Wheeler Loughran, Keegan Wheeler Loughran, April 11, 2016.

Justin (assistant professor of theater) and Amanda Poole, Harrisonburg, Va., London Aaron, Dec. 11, 2015.

Adriana Rojas (assistant professor of Spanish) and Patrick Campbell ’12, MA ’14 (conflict transformation), Charlottesville, Va., Lucila Penelope, April 6, 2015.


Maria Rose Lehman, ’12,  to Melvin Lopez, July 6, 2014.

Megan Grove ’11 to Christopher Berry, Aug. 15, 2015.

Vanessa Rice ’07 to Ryan Bunting, Oct.12, 2015.


Mahlon Nolt Rissler, Harrisonburg, Va., died Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, at age 79. Mahlon was founder of EMU’s computer program and director for 10 years. He then owned and operated Dutch Foods and worked for Lancaster Provident Bookstore as a controller. Most recently he operated a home delivery service with his wife and son. He was a Sunday School team leader of Harrisonburg Mennonite Church. His wife, Gloria Grace Weaver Rissler, survives, as do a son and two daughters.

Henry S. Weber Jr. ’38, Lititz, Pa., died May 3, 2014. Henry designed and built homes prior to founding Henry Weber Aircraft Distributors. He was a businessman, philanthropist and pilot, only retiring at age 83. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Frances Mae.

Pearl Hostetter Johnson ’48, Newport News Va., died March 26, 2015, at age 93. She was a nurse. She loved the outdoors and spent many hours planting and harvesting vegetables and flowers. Her husband Wayne Johnson preceded her in death in 2001.

Howard Snider ’48, North Newton, Kansas, died Aug. 2, 2015 at age 92. Howard was pastor at Sharon Mennonite Church in Rosthern Saskatoon and later at Holyrood Mennonite Church. Following his pastorate, he was a professor at Bethel College for almost 30 years. Howard’s other interests included maintaining a ham radio station, camping, and writing four books on theology. He is survived by his wife Marie.

Marilyn N. Swartzentruber ’51, Goshen, Ind., died on Nov. 22, 2015 at age 86. Marilyn was an administrative assistant for Mennonite Publishing House in Scottdale, Pa., for 37 years. After retirement, she worked as a courier for Goshen Health System and volunteered at Benton Mennonite Church, Greencroft Goshen, and other community organizations.

Dorcas Leah Stoltzfus ’56  Morrow, MD, Lititz, Pa., died Aug. 7, 2015, at age 83. One of the first women to complete EMU’s full pre-med program, Dorcas graduated from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania  and then served two terms in Tanzania and Somalia with Eastern Mennonite Missions. She married Ted Morrow following her service and worked as a physician for the School District of Philadelphia, and finished her career as a psychiatrist at Norristown State Hospital. She is survived by a son and four stepchildren.

Paul L. Dagen ’57, Lititz, Pa., died Dec. 25, 2015, at age 91. Paul managed the family farm and then in 1955, felt the call to ministry which included schooling at EMU and work with Mennonite Board of Missions at the Poarch Gospel Mission with the Creek Nation. He was ordained a bishop in the Mennonite Church in 1961 and served Alabama and Northwest Florida districts until retirement. He and his wife, Lois, relocated to Pennsylvania in 1987 and became involved in his home congregation of New Providence. He provided interim leadership at many churches. He enjoyed travel as well as work with Mennonite Econonomic Development Associates in Moldova and Belize. Paul and Lois celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in March 2015.

Sarah W. Hedrick ’57, of Sellersville, Pa., died on May 28, 2015 at age 86. She was a teacher with Franconia Mennonite School where she met her future husband, Ralph. Sarah supported and generously contributed to many organizations, including the Penn Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Mennonite church and schools. In retirement, she was a Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher. Her hobbies included sewing, drawing, painting, baking, reading, singing, and traveling with her family.

Naomi H. Kauffman ’59, East Rockhill Township, Bucks County, Pa., died July 8, 2015 at age 77. Naomi taught at Seylar Elementary School. After earning her Masters in Library Science degree, she was a librarian at Sellersville Elementary School. She served several terms as president of the Church and Synagogue Librarians Association. She was a member of Perkasie Mennonite Church.

James O. Lehman ’59, Harrisonburg, Va., died Feb. 5, 2016 at age 83. Jim was the director of libraries at EMU for 29 years until retirement in 1998. He continued volunteering at the EMU Historical Library/Archives through retirement as well as at other local non-profits. He researched and wrote 10 Mennonite congregational history books as well as a community history (his first and favorite book), Sonnenberg, A Haven and a Heritage about his home town. He also contributed to many historical publications and served on numerous historical societies. Jim and his wife Dorothy, who survives, were long-time members at Lindale Mennnonite Church.

J. Harold Zook ’59, Oley, Pa., died Aug., 6, 2015 at age 78. Harold, was an educator in the Souderton area for 36 years. He taught English and reading at Souderton Area Junior High School for 14 years, before spending his remaining 22 years in the district as an assistant principal at Indian Valley Middle School. He retired in 1996. Harold was the EMU Alumnus of the Year in 2002. He used his many gifts to influence young people, despite living with a rare neuromuscular disease. Harold published his autobiography, “The Eagle Soars,” in 2003.

Carol Ruth Miller ’60 Garber, Scottdale, Pa., died on Dec. 18, 2015, at age 78. Carol worked as a teacher, librarian, pastor’s wife and copy editor. She loved to read, enjoyed writing and doing crossword puzzles along with following current events and politics. She is survived by her husband, Stanley David Garber, a son and a daughter.

Edith B. Detweiler ’61, Ann Arbor, Mich., died July 8, 2014, at age 79. She was a retired registered nurse and a member of Shekinah Church in Ann Arbor.

Clifford Maust ’61, Salisbury, Pa., died Jan. 12, 2014, at age 77.

Gerald Musselman ’62, Bloomington, Ill., died Dec. 21, 2015, at age 75. He is survived by his wife Julie, daughter Shannon and son Ben.

Martha Augsburger ’68, Harrisonburg, Va., died on Feb. 18, 2016, at age 89. Martha was a pastor’s wife and taught in elementary schools for over 30 years in Pensylvannia, Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia. She had a keen eye for color, design and architecture, an innate interest and gift for music and fine arts and wonderfully diverse culinary skills.

David J. Hooley ’73. Findlay, Ohio, died Aug. 18, 2015, at age 64. David was an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Findlay. He also worked for Automated Chemistry Information Systems, Lancaster Sharing Program and Lancaster Laboratories, all of Lancaster, Pa., and Standard Oil of Ohio Research and Development. David collected computer memorabilia and enjoyed photography and travel. He is survived by wife Jane Myers Hooley.

Barbara Beiler ’74, Mohnton, Pa., died March 24, 2015, at age 69. Barbara was a nurse midwife. She served in missions in Belize for 2 1/2 years and then worked in southern Texas for 20 years. She also worked at Temple Unversity Hospital and took courses at EMU Lancaster towards her CPE. She was a member at Zion Mennonite Church, Birdsboro, and chaired the Peace and Justice Committee for Atlantic Coast Mennonite Conference. She was an avid birdwatcher and enjoyed being with her family.

Linda Alice Trueblood ’78, Martinsville, Va., died June 10, 2015, at age 61. Alice taught at Marc Workshop and later special education in Henry County. An ordained minister, she helped found Martinsville Christian Fellowship and participated in overseas mission trips.

Frederic (Rick) William Schmid ’91, Lederach, Pa., died July 14, 2015, at age 46. A former Boy Scout, Rick enjoyed photography and making model rockets. He was a member of the First Continental Regiment of Foot, as well as Salford Mennonite Church. He is survived by his mother and daughter Joy Elizabeth Nelson.

Doreen Ruto Jemutai MA ’06 (conflict transformation), Nairobi, Kenya, died Jan. 21, 2016. She was an integral supporter and partner of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and the Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program. In 2011, she founded Daima Initiatives for Peace and Development in Kenya, which engaged in a variety of peacebuilding initiatives, many of which involved and supported CJP programs. She is survived by sons Richard “Richy” Biko Kipkoech ’11 and Ronald Kiptoo, both of Nairobi, Kenya.


Elizabethtown History (The Campus History Series, 2015) features historic photos of Elizabethtown University, compiled and edited by Jean-Paul Benowicz ’91, director of Student Transition Programs and assistant director of Academic Advising, and Peter J. DePuydt. Elizabethtown, in Pennsylvania, was founded in 1899 and is historically affiliated with the Church of the Brethren.

Begin By Loving Again: My Safari from Farm Girl to Mission Doctor to Wife and Mother (Not Forgotten Publishing, 2015) is the memoir of the late Dr. Dorcas Stolzfus ’56 Morrow, one of the first women to complete the pre-med program at Eastern Mennonite College.

Through the memories of three generations of Cheyenne people, Magpie’s Blanket (University of New Mexico Press, 2016) features a young Southern Cheyenne woman who survived the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 only to witness a second attack on her people at the Washita Massacre in 1868. Kimberly Schmidt, professor of history and director of the Washington Community Scholars’ Center, is the author.

Christian. Muslim. Friend. Twelve Paths to Real Relationship (Herald Press, 2014), by David Shenk ’59, won the 2016 Christianity Today Book Award for the “Missions/Global Church” category. The title is the fourth in a series titled “Christians Meeting Muslims,” and is based on 50 years of friendship with Muslims in Somalia, Kenya and the United States.

Interpretative traditions are scrutinized in Professor Andrea Saner’s “Too Much to Grasp”: Exodus 3:13-15 and the Reality of God (Eisenbraus, 2015). Saner, assistant professor of the Old Testament, teaches undergraduate students and seminary graduate students.

Correction: In the spring/summer 2015 Mileposts obituaries , the name of Dawn Buckwalter ’75 was misspelled. We apologize for the error.

Degree Key
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
GC – graduate certificate
MA – master of arts
SEM – attended or graduated from the seminary

Mileposts is compiled by Jennifer North Bauman, who may be reached at baumanj@emu.edu or at 540-432-4294.

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.

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