2002 – Spring ’21 Class Letter
Greetings, Class of 2002!
We hope this letter finds you well and thriving despite the challenges over the last year. BIG NEWS!! Can you believe summer 2022 will be our TWENTY YEAR Reunion?!
Here are some updates that were shared with us. We would love to hear from you if we haven’t in a while.
KRISTI BRAUN ATTWOOD ’02 of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, shared that she worked in a COVID-19 clinic and saw people in their cars. Got vaccinated. Went to Hawaii.
BOBBY BANNASCH ’02 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is getting married on May 8th. Bobby also finished his second master’s degree, the most recent as a clinical therapist. Besides teaching, he is running a private practice as a clinical therapist in West Bend, Wisconsin.
BLAKE BAKKEN ’04 asked “should the ending of the college hosted Pearl Harbor “let’s get bombed” parties be a part of what’s written about?”
CG note- I checked with the college, and was told party themes need to be approved in advance, and violations of planned themes is a punishable offense.
JOSH MASON-BARKIN ’02 of Phoenix, Arizona, and his wife welcomed their third child in December 2019, Milo Mason-Barkin. He also had a blueberry muffin for breakfast on March 18, 2021. Josh has been working as a real estate photographer in Phoenix, where one of his clients is (former Brewers catcher) Matt Pagnozzi. Josh recently shot John Smoltz’s parents’ house, and approximately a year ago, he took photos of a garage that had one of Aaron Rodgers’ cars in it. (Josh lives a celebrity-adjacent life.)
JAKE CREECY ’02’s cat, Scipio Ursus Cattus Magnus, fondly referred to as “The Meester” was the subject of a recent painting.
JAMES DAHM JR. ’02 and KAITLYN HENG DAHM ’10 of Chicago, Illinois, write, “We had a baby girl in January of 2020. Her name is Lucy. She joins big brother Charlie who will turn four this spring.”
MARTHA DOBKE NETZLOFF ’02 of Madison, Wisconsin, recently moved to a new place, just down the street. She has been teaching kindergarten from home, and she shares it is way more difficult than anything she has done before.
HEIDI FOSTER DUSEK ’02 of New London, Wisconsin, added juggler to her resume in 2020. She also added podcast and business founder to her title in 2020 with the launch of her podcast, Ordinary Sherpa. Ordinary Sherpa is designed to inspire families to connect through simple adventures. In addition to inspiring families, the community of “sherpas” help other families with their adventure goals. Our flagship is untourism, or the art of traveling like a local and helping small businesses throughout the country transform locals to be tourists in their own towns. Through the past decade-plus our family of five has maintained a steady amount of adventure, travel, and outdoor connection and this community inspires others to reconnect. We’ll be adding to the adventures in March 2021 with the one-way ticket to Florida to purchase our traveling office, also known as a Class A RV. We will be testing the concept of a gap year this summer to see if we can handle being together that much. 🙂
CORRYN SIEGEL GREENWOOD ’02 of Orland Park, Illinois, ran her first marathon distance run. As the official Chicago marathon was canceled, she ran on the streets around her town. The snacks were ok and the race support was spotty.
APRIL RYDZ MISSAK ’02 of McHenry, Illinois, says she has been madly in love with MIKE MISSAK ’01 since 1998.
LEIGH MLODZIK ’02 of Indianola, Iowa, is excited to share that he accepted a Vice President for Enrollment position at Simpson College in Iowa. Leigh and his wife, Alissa, are looking forward to a new adventure as they will be moving with their one-year-old, Dekklen, and seven-month-old puppy, Palmer.
ZACHARY MORRIS ’02 of Madison, Wisconsin, is the vice-chairman in the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin and he co-led a team of researchers that earned a five-year, $12.5 million National Institutes of Health Research Program (P01) Grant (plus $2 million in institutional matching funds) to study the combined use of immunotherapy and targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT) to treat metastatic cancer.
Dr. Morris reports, “This comprehensive preclinical research program brings together two distinct classes of cancer treatment (radiation and immunotherapy). This work will give us a very good understanding of the principles of how these therapies can work together and what might be the best approach to use them in combination clinically. We hope that combining these therapies will increase the response and cure rates for potentially any cancer.”
MIKE ROHR ’02 of Nekoosa, Wisconsin, celebrated 15 years working at SAP.
Update from September 2020: DOUG WILEY ’02 of Louisville, Kentucky, writes: “In the past twelve months, I’ve kept a relatively consistent level of chaos. A year ago today I was moving into our current house in Louisville with Rebecca, who is now my wife. I kidnapped her from Saint Louis. I got out of the bull-semen business and now I work as an ERP manager for a tobacco company. You know what they say: ‘When in Kentucky….’. My son Torsten continues to grow and is actually thriving in the remote learning environment, which helps me run our dog treat business, which is getting bigger than I ever really expected. We get to meet lots of dogs, which is awesome. I hope everyone is being safe, and if you’re ever in the bluegrass state and want to say hi, I’m very easy to find. Oh yeah, comedy is…. well, mostly dead, but I’ve had a lot more time to work on my writing, which has been fun.”
Alumni Weekend 2021 will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen with two distinct summer weekends of Ripon alumni programming for us. No matter how you’d like to connect, virtually or in person, the Office of Constituent Engagement is developing a variety of activities to continue to follow CDC, Fond du Lac County and College guidelines in both June and August. Full schedules, lodging, and programming details will be posted soon to www.ripon.edu/alumni-weekend.
- In honor of our June Alumni Weekend traditions, virtual alumni programming will be held Tuesday, June 22 through Saturday, June 26, and will include: an alumni town hall, R Connections webinars, affinity socials, a summer book club, and special recognition of the 2020 and 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees.
- The only in-person event, the Doc Weiske ’50 Memorial Golf Scramble, will be held off-campus on Friday, June 25.
A combination of virtual and in-person Alumni Weekend programming will be held the first week of August. We will continue to evaluate the state of COVID-19. If circumstances change at the local and national level and we need to cancel in-person programming, that decision will be made and communicated by July 1, 2021.
- Virtual programming will be held Tuesday, August 3 through Saturday, August 7 and will include: a reunion-focused alumni town hall that also previews the new academic year, additional R Connections webinars, the summer book club capstone, and the traditional “That Was Then” storytelling session.
- In-person, on-campus programming will be held Friday, August 6 through Sunday, August 8, and will focus on alumni awards recognition, 2020 and 2021 reunion celebrations, and other outdoor events such as Rally Run and prairie walk.
- Additionally, the Class of 2020 will officially be welcomed to our alumni community with a special commencement ceremony.
We would love to hear from more of you. Hope to see you in the summer of 2022 for our 20-year Class Reunion! Let us know if you would like to help with our Class Reunion planning!
Keep in touch!
CORRYN SIEGEL GREENWOOD ’02
LEIGH MLODZIK ’02
Your 2002 Class Agents