Winter 2017 Alumni News and Notes
Jean (Christenson) and Harold Inman celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on November 3, 2015. The Inmans would be delighted to hear from friends; email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob and Nancy Sabean recently celebrated 50 years of Latin American ministry in Costa Rica, where they have been serving with United World Mission since 1965. During their tenure, Bob developed Costa Rica’s most wellknown camp, Camp Robleato, and co-founded Christian Camping International Latin America, which provides resources, training and support for all the Spanish-speaking Christian camps in Latin America.
The Houghton College Trumpet Trio (’60-’64) reunited in May 2014 at their 50th class reunion to play some of the music they had performed throughout their four years at Houghton. The trio, composed of Ralph Marks, David Manney and Don Warren with accompanist Charlie Walker, met with their wives several months prior to the reunion to practice and renew acquaintances. They had such a good time both then and at the reunion that they got together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to play at Don’s Presbyterian church and at a local senior center. According to those who listened, these septuagenarians sounded very much like the college team that played over 50 years ago. Lots of shared memories made the reunion weekend a highlight of the year.
Mickey and Joanne (Lewis ’66) Sammons were honored on April 16, 2016, at Northern Frontier Camp’s inaugural Trail Markers Dinner for their many years of service and dedication to the camp located in North River, New York. They received the first-ever Sammons Award.
Fifty-four alumni from the class of 1966 attended their 50th reunion, held in conjunction with Commencement weekend, on May 13-15, 2016. During the weekend, Clarence “Bud” Bence ’66 was honored with Houghton’s Alumni Award for Christian Service.
Ken McGeorge was recently appointed co-chair of the New Brunswick Council on Aging by Social Development Minister, Cathy Rogers. Currently, McGeorge is the interim executive director of the Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick and is the former chief executive officer of York Foundation and York Care Centre in Fredericton.
Forty-five members of the class of 1971 gathered on Houghton’s campus in June for their 45th reunion. Diane (Phillips ’71) Stevens and Lyn (Sheldon ’71) Harter were honored for their service to the class in keeping The Rag (class newsletter) going for more than 40 years.
Stephen Thorson published a book titled Joy and Poetic Imagination: Understanding C.S. Lewis’s “Great War” with Owen Barfield and its Significance for Lewis’s Conversion and Writings through Winged Lion Press (December 2015). In the book, Thorson explores an important part of Lewis’s coming to Christ—often misunderstood or ignored by Lewis scholars. Lewis had accepted Barfield’s form of pantheism before his conversion but rejected his friend’s “supersensible awareness” and became an orthodox Christian in the end. The book is available on Amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble. Stephen and his wife, Becky (Locke ’76), are in Nepal with United Mission Prayer League, sent by the United Mission to Nepal. Stephen works as a pediatrician at a medical school, mostly coordinating vaccine research with Oxford University sponsorship and also teaches theology at a major seminary. Becky is expatriate coordinator for the United Mission to Nepal and oversees their language and orientation program.
Mark Nabholz was recently appointed artistic director of the Jackson Choral Society in Jackson, Mississippi. He is associate professor and director of choral activities at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi, where he conducts the award-winning MC Singers and other choral ensembles and teaches studio voice and choral conducting on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Mark and Fran (Edwards ’81) live in Clinton, where Fran teaches voice through the Taylor School (community education division at Mississippi College) and in her home-based studio. They have four children: Chris, recently married; Tim, a junior in college; Will, a senior in high school; and Laura, a sixth-grader.
Jonathan “Todd” Barlow was recently named director of addictions services at New Vitae Wellness and Recovery’s recently acquired Mitchell Clinic, located in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. New Vitae The Mitchell Clinic offers various intensive outpatient services to support individuals seeking behavioral health supports, those seeking recovery from drug and alcohol misuse, and those diagnosed with both behavioral health and substance use challenges.
Denise (Wood) Mathewson recently received her MSW from SUNY Binghamton (now Binghamton University) and was inducted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society.
Karey (Derr) Killian is an elementary school library media specialist in the Milton Area School District in Milton, Pennsylvania, and was recently selected for the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert program for 2015-2016. As a part of that program, she was one of 15 participants chosen to represent the United States at the Microsoft E2 Global Educator Exchange, an annual global education event that was held this year in Budapest, Hungary, on March 7-10, 2016. Karey lives in Millville, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Mike, and their daughters, Eleanor (4) and Adelynn (13).
Shawna (Lee) and Matt Coleing, along with their three children, recently set off from their home in Australia for an overseas adventure. They spent two weeks in New Zealand working with a church near Auckland and then flew to the US, where they purchased a vehicle for a road trip across the country. Shawna and Matt have been invited to 16minister in several churches along the way, and Shawna will be homeschooling their children while they travel. Follow their journey at www.alifeoutsidethebox.com, or contact them at email@example.com.
Rebecca (Neubert) Dominguez was recently named director of development at the Shasta Family YMCA in Redding, California. Husband, Ben (’02), is in his second year at the ministry school associated with Bethel Church. Becky and Ben love hosting guests from around the world and would be happy to welcome any Houghton folks who may be in Redding to visit Bethel.
Robert Joubert was recently named the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year for Shawnee High School in Medford, New Jersey. Joubert is the director of choral activities and teaches vocal music at Shawnee. In addition to classroom teaching, he advises the extra-curricular Shawnee Men’s Choir and has served as the vocal director for the all-school musical since 2010. He also is the associate conductor at First Presbyterian Church in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
Katrina (Lao) and Paul Shaffner ’06 recently moved to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where Katrina teaches middle school language arts to international students at Morrison Academy and does occasional freelance journalism. Prior to moving to Taiwan, she was a public radio journalist at WPSU, State College, Pennsylvania, where she won several awards, including the regional Edward R. Murrow Award, a regional PAPBA Award and a national PRNDI Award. “I grew up in Taiwan,” says Shaffner, “so moving back is somewhat like returning home.” Katrina and Paul have two daughters, Anna (7) and Lucy (4).
Adam Potter (MM ’09) recently earned his PhD in choral conducting and music education from Florida State University College of Music. His dissertation was titled, “Sight-singing Systems in Collegiate Choral Curricula: An Examination of Conductors’ Best Practices at Degree-granting Institutions of the National Association of Schools of Music.” He is director of choral activities, assistant professor of music and program coordinator for choral music education at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.
by Jessica Guillory ’16
“Medicine, to me, has been a great connector between my faith and my passions,” said Alyssa Figueroa ’14, a second-year medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). “I have a passion for people, for discovery and for observation. Ultimately, medicine allows me to tangibly be Jesus’ hands and feet to those in need of care.”
Hoping to pursue pediatrics or family medicine, Alyssa is just one of several recent Houghton alumni to continue her education at LECOM, a school that offers medical, pharmacy and dental degrees. Other alumni include Grady Spencer ’08, Amanda (Hiers ’11) Carl, Samantha (Marr ’12) Bogdan, Jina Libby ’15 and Stephanie (Candelora ’09) Santoro.
While Alyssa does not run into any alumni on her campus, Samantha Bogdan and Jina Libby are both enrolled at LECOM’s Seton Hill campus. Currently in her third year, Samantha has begun to work with patients after two years of being immersed in the school’s problem-based learning track. After graduating from LECOM in May of 2017, she hopes to enter a residency that will allow her to become a family physician and pursue a fellowship in sports medicine. In the meantime, she has been working with patients in an Elmira hospital and an outpatient clinic in Williamsport, PA.
Having been introduced to the field of osteopathy through a personal family experience, Jina has enjoyed pursuing a vocation that combines her personal experience, joy in learning about science and passion for public health.
A recently formed agreement between Houghton College and LECOM will make the transition from college to medical school easier for Houghton students in the coming years. Students accepted into LECOM’s Early Acceptance Program and who maintain a certain GPA at Houghton will be guaranteed a seat in the LECOM program to which they apply.
Tiffany Hoffmann ’16 and Elizabeth Yordy ’16 will be the first Houghton graduates to go to LECOM through the Early Acceptance Program. They will begin their studies in the fall of 2016.
“It is the greatest reward and affirmation of my calling to teaching to see students be successful in the medical field,” said Dr. Jamie Potter, assistant professor of biology and director of pre-health professions at Houghton. “Receiving an email from a former student about what they are doing and the excitement of their studies, their graduation and their careers gives me much happiness. Our students go on to do great things for God’s kingdom, helping others physically as well as mentally and spiritually as medical professionals.”
Veronica Caldwell received a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy from the Sage Graduate School of Health and Sciences and passed the board exam in February of 2015. She currently resides in Auburn, New York, and works as an occupational therapist for preschoolers at Little Lukes Childcare Center in Oswego, New York.
Cliff Chandler has released his second album, Waiting for You, featuring eight original contemporary gospel songs with a Caribbean flavor. His first album, Time After Time, was released in 2013. Both can be found on CDBaby.com. Cliff and his wife, Eurisca (Hippolyte ’03), live in St. Lucia with their three children, Chris (8), David (4) and Esther (1). Cliff is a high school IT/business teacher, preparing children for CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) exams. Eurisca is the station manager at YES FM, a local Christian radio station, and does consulting work in business process engineering.
A FEW LIFETIMES
by Evan Szymanski ’16
If you were to look into Houghton professor Peter Meilaender’s “Living Like a Narnian” class this semester, you’d see three generations of Spears, stacked in a line by one wall, ears tuned.
In front is Eileen Spear ’52; behind her is her son, Peter Spear ’77, a local pastor; and behind him is his son, Ryan Spear ’07, the current Director of Admission at Houghton.
For some time now, Eileen has been trying to take a class with each of her Houghton-educated grandchildren. Ryan is the last piece of Eileen’s puzzle, but it took until now, after his graduation, for them to end up in the same classroom.
“She basically accused me of never taking anything interesting,” jokes Ryan, who majored in philosophy and psychology.
When they heard about “Living Like a Narnian,” a class on responsible citizenship, however, they knew it was time. Peter came along as well since their family have always been major C. S. Lewis buffs.
“I get a kick out of it,” says Professor Meilaender. “Obviously, [this] isn’t something that happens too often.”
Eileen began taking classes with her grandchildren to “be part of their lives and education” and has fond memories of every one. She recalls: “A grandson and I took an 8:00 class together. He had a habit of oversleeping. I took notes for him…. In another class, a granddaughter and I were the only women. I told her to look around the class for an available man. She did marry a student who had been in the class, but they didn’t date until after college.”
Now that her collection is complete, however, she isn’t stopping. “I certainly intend to keep taking classes,” she says. “One student asked me, ‘Why are you doing this?’ Apparently, it is hard to imagine that someone