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Class Notes: Fall/Winter 2021-22

'50s

SUSAN PURTELL MUS’56 shared the following update: “My late husband, Win, and I joined the dog world in our early 50s and ended up with seven field champions. We bought a house in Thomasville, Georgia so we could train our dogs with our pro every day in the winter season and compete in field trails all over the south. We came back to Wisconsin and continued to train with the pro and competed all over the Midwest. It is a wonderful sport! We moved to the country near West Bend, where we have 72 acres of beautiful glacier land that I’ve loved for 31 years. Win died in 2015 and our last field champion, Landovers Joy, died in April of 2021. I’ve had two grandsons who graduated from USM and I would like to know what’s going on with Jane Stroebel MUS’56, Tim Kelly MUS’56, and Carol Reeves MDS’55.”

Jerry Yashiro stands next to a photo of himself from the 1970s running track at USM.

'70s

JERRY YASHIRO ’71 ran into a familiar face while on a recent campus tour—himself! Yashiro’s photo from a track and field meet in 1971 was on display in the hallway of USM’s administrative wing, and his eagle-eyed classmates identified him while on a campus tour during their 50th reunion weekend in August.


A painting titled "About a Vase" by Holly Harnischfeger

HOLLY HARNISCHFEGER ’73 held an event at Grove Gallery in Milwaukee featuring her artwork. The show was titled “About A Vase” and was a series of mixed media paintings that portray images of a vase in different environments.


A watercolor painting by Ann Rawlinson

ANN RAWLINSON ’73 displayed her watercolor paintings in a show this past summer at Timnath Beerwerks in Timnath, Colorado. “The Beerwerks is in an old grain elevator, so the space was very cool,” she said. “They also happen to have the best beer in northern Colorado!” She shared the opening with a friend who wrote a vegetarian cookbook called “Food Elevated.” Rawlinson, a certified Sommelier, was asked to write the wine pairings for the cookbook. She currently lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 

Dae Mellencamp speaks at USM's commencement.

'80s

DAE MELLENCAMP ’87 was named chief operating officer of soona, the world’s first virtual content creation platform for ecommerce. Mellencamp most recently served as chief operating officer of Gaia Inc., and also served as CEO and president of Vimeo. She spoke at USM’s Commencement in 2019.

 

'90s

Wendy Jepson

WENDY JEPSON, PH.D. ’90 was named associate director of research (social science) at the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI). Since 2020, she has served TWRI as interim associate director at the Texas A&M AgriLife Center at Dallas. A large part of her new role as associate director will be facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration both within researchers and departments at Texas A&M.


Lori Tharps

LORI THARPS ’90 was featured on the cover of the Fall 2021 Alumnae Quarterly magazine for Smith College. Tharps wrote a piece for the magazine, in which she described upending her life to pursue her dream of living abroad in Spain.


Lafayette Crump

LAFAYETTE CRUMP ’91 participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Milwaukee Business Journal to discuss the surge of development along West Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, its impact on the central business district, and what the area’s next major projects will be. Crump currently serves as the commissioner of city development for the city of Milwaukee. He spoke at USM’s Commencement in 2020.


Margaret Sokol and fellow alumni.

MARGARET SOKOL ’93 recently reconnected with fellow USM alumni for a fun evening in Boston, and shared this photo. Pictured from left are Geoff Caan ’87, who lives in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts; K.K. (McGregor) Neimann ’93, who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Margaret (Sokol) Caswell ’93, who lives in Rye, New Hampshire.


Anwar Floyd-Pruitt

ANWAR FLOYD-PRUITT ’95 participated in WMSE 91.7FM’s 5th annual Art & Music event, which combined live music with live art. Guests were invited to bid on hundreds of locally made pieces of art. Floyd-Pruitt is an interdisciplinary artist focused on community art, puppetry, and mixed media portraiture.


TALLEAH (BRIDGES) MCMAHON ’95 directed a 30-minute documentary called “Uprooted,” which is part of a four-episode docuseries from  Sesame Workshop. The series, called “Through Our Eyes,” is a journey into the lives of American families from the perspective of children themselves, and is now streaming on HBO Max.


Elizabeth Peters and fellow USM alumni who attended Duke University.

ELIZABETH PETERS ’95 hosted a get-together of USM alumni in the “Triangle” (North and South Carolina and Southern Virginia). Pictured from left are: Gianna Affi ’18, Dr. Kristin Schroeder ’97, Elizabeth Peters ’95, Jack Glusman ’19, and Lauren Glusman ’21. Peters is the regional council chair for the USM Alumni Association, and serves as a connection point for alumni in that area. If you’re interested in serving as a regional council chair in your area, contact Leah Wabiszewski at lwabiszewski@usm.org.


Lamont Smith

LAMONT SMITH ’97 has been named the new Milwaukee program manager of The Nature Conservancy. The new position will help kick off and guide TNC’s conservation work with communities and partners in Wisconsin’s biggest city.

'00s

FATIMA LASTER ’02 is working to develop a mixed-use building in Milwaukee’s Five Points neighborhood. The new, $1.8 million project will include a restaurant, recording studio, event space, and apartments. Previously, Laster converted the former Johnson-Goolsby Funeral Home into a gallery space and artist studios.


The Collier baby.

DR. WILL COLLIER ’03 and his wife, Lisa Melick ’03, welcomed a baby girl, Alexandra, on July 10, 2021. Will is an internal  medicine physician at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is in his second year of residency and works daily with COVID-19 patients.


Gretchen Mathews teaching in her classroom.

GRETCHEN (KRIEG) MATHEWS ’06 is teaching 6th grade math at USM. “University School helped develop my love of learning, and I am excited to share that passion with my students,” she said.


Jessica Roberts smiles at one of her students while creating a craft project.

JESSICA ROBERTS ’06 is the newest kindergarten teacher at USM. This is her 10th year of teaching, having worked in schools in Littleton, Colorado, and Cedarburg, Wisconsin. “I’m thrilled to be back at USM,” she said. “I love meeting new families and reconnecting with alumni parents!”


Michael Sarnoski with the cast of "Pig" at the world premier.

MICHAEL SARNOSKI ’06 (pictured, far left) wrote and directed a film called “Pig” starring Alex Wolff, Nicolas Cage, and Adam Arkin. It follows a truffle forager whose beloved truffle-finding pig is stolen. The film premiered in July 2021 and was nominated for two 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards.


Gareth Hattersley and fellow alumni at his wedding.

GARETH HATTERSLEY ’08 married Keeley Browning on July 10, 2021. Pictured are Ethan Padway ’08, Patrick Downey ’08, Jack Ulricson ’08, Matt Bures ’08, Blake Pindyck ’08, Peter Kaufman ’08, Jack Wigdale ’08, Allison Twedell, Gareth Hattersley ’08, Kathan Chintamaneni ’08, Ryan Khanna ’08, Eric Follett ’08, Jake Nellen ’08, David Havens ’08, and Andrew Seter ’08.

'10s

RAWLINGS LONG JOERRES ’10 and her husband, Tommy Joerres ’10, had a baby boy, Jonathan “Jack” Arthur Joerres, on May 28, 2021.


Hannah Lubar and her husband Michael on their wedding day.

HANNAH LUBAR ’10 married Michael Borge on Aug. 28, 2021 at Riverbend Club in Kohler, Wisconsin. They recently relocated to Milwaukee from San Francisco. “We’re so excited to be back in the Midwest,” she said. “And we’re not wasting any time getting involved—Mike already signed up to be an assistant coach for USM’s boys’ varsity hockey team!”


Harriette Hauske reads a book to her preschool students.

HARRIETTE HAUSKE ’14 began teaching junior kindergarten at USM in August. This is her third year of teaching, having previously taught at Latin School in Chicago. “USM helped shape me into the person I am today,” she said. “I went to USM for 15 years, and I couldn’t be happier to be back as a teacher. It has been really special being a part of the community in this new role.” She is joined in her classroom by Lisl Gapinski ’92, who is an assistant teacher in junior kindergarten.


KATE REED ’15 recently joined the Milwaukee Bucks as the communications coordinator. She graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a bachelor’s in strategic communications. “I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me every step of the way,” she said. “I can't wait to see what this opportunity holds. Bucks in 6!”


Michael Balistreri and his parents at Wisconsin football's senior day game.

MICHAEL BALISTRERI ’17 was honored during a UW-Madison football game for senior day. He is a defensive end for the Badgers, majoring in agricultural business management. He is pictured with his parents, Patrick and Lisa.


Anne Havlik poses for a photo outside the Yale School of Public Health.

ANNE HAVLIK ’17 was accepted to the Horstmann Scholar Program, where she will be pursuing a master’s in public health in chronic disease epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health on a Horstmann Scholarship. The program is named for Dr. Dorothy M. Horstmann, a principal researcher of the pathogenesis and control of viral infection, the first female professor of medicine at Yale, and the first woman in the university to hold an endowed chair. She became an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1975.

'20s

SHREYA GUNDELLY ’20 finished amongst the Top 16 of the Miss Teen USA 2021 pageant, held on Nov. 27 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was crowned Miss Wisconsin Teen USA 2021 in May 2021, the first Indian American to earn the title.


Stephanie Guy

STEPHANIE GUY ’20 received the 2021 Philanthropic Youth of Today Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southeastern Wisconsin chapter. Guy founded the Make a Motion program, an initiative to connect youth members to nonprofit boards in the greater Milwaukee area. She was nominated by Fund Development Corp., which was founded by Elizabeth Meyer ’70. Guy is a sophomore at Georgetown University in the McDonough School of Business.


REID PEZEWSKI ’20 AND QUINN THOMPSON ’20 along with a third teammate, Nelson Cowan, earned 1st place in the FIS InnovateIN48 challenge held in August. Hosted by financial technology leader FIS, the competition consisted of 22 teams of students from universities around the country and was judged by top business leaders from FIS, Google, Microsoft, and national nonprofits. Placing first in the competition provides the team with entry into 1819’s Venture Lab Program (a pre-accelerator for startups), priority interviews in the FIS University Program for full-time opportunities and internships, and the opportunity to choose innovation-enabling prizes.


Irene Gay poses for a photo near the Milwaukee River and Hoan Bridge.

IRENE GAY ’21 earned a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship to study Chinese (Mandarin). NSLI-Y is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). She competed with thousands of applicants across the United States to win a NSLI-Y scholarship, and was one of 616 chosen. NSLI-Y participants receive formal language instruction, live with a host family, and experience the local culture.

USM Alumni Coffee

USM alumni returned to campus ahead of Thanksgiving for the annual alumni coffee event on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. They enjoyed coffee, donuts, and a hot chocolate bar while reconnecting with former teachers and catching up with friends.

  • Alumni