2003 – Fall ’19 Class Letter

Liz Matelski

[email protected]

Elayne Monnens Norweb

[email protected]


Happy fall, Class of 2003! The Class of 2023 will soon be stepping onto campus to start their new adventures at Ripon. The College looks much different than when we first arrived at school, but the important things have stayed the same. 

A big thanks to all who participated in the #OneDayRally in May. The Class of 2003 had a strong showing and finished third out of all graduating classes in the number of individual donors!

SANDRA DEVRIES ERNST ’03 of Redding, California, was inducted into the Ripon College Athletic Hall of Fame during Alumni Weekend in June. She works at the University of California, Davis.

BRITT STEIGER FRANK ’03 completed the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World this January, running 48.6 miles over four races on four consecutive mornings. The race challenge consists of a 5k, 10k, half marathon and ending with a full marathon. Britt stays at home with her 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son. She plays tennis and runs when she can.

AMIEE PIERSTORFF HANSEN ’03 of Eldorado, Wisconsin, runs her own photography business, Glass Menagerie Photography.

JEAN GARNER-STEEL ’03:“I rise each day at the last possible moment to have a practice run of getting teenagers to stop ignoring me at home before going to work, where I am professionally ignored by more teenagers. I’ve accidentally made some athletes that compete at high levels in obscure sports and spend the evenings and entire weekends driving different sets of hulking, sweaty, bellowing youths across the country. I’ve devised a system of locks, bolts and chairs propped against things that stops my suspiciously clever/dumb lurcher from opening every door in my house and breaking all my stuff. Honestly, that alone must be deserving of some design and innovation prize. There are people and dogs everywhere. They’re always hungry and the fridge is always empty. Please send snacks.” 

ANDY LAST ’03 and RACHAEL SMITHBACK LAST ’06 of Ripon, Wisconsin, are happy to announce the arrival of their son, Oliver Andrew, just before Mother’s Day on May 10, 2019. What an amazing gift! Everyone is happy and healthy and feeling beyond blessed to have welcomed such an amazing little man into the family.

ELIZABETH MATELSKI ’03 was granted tenure this spring. She teaches American history at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. She and her wife continue to enjoy their Boston adventures and vow never to become New England Patriots’ fans. 

LACEY JONES SCHADRIE ’03 graduated from Rasmussen College in June 2018 with a bachelor of science in nursing. 

MELISSA YORK SNELLING ’03:“Hi, I just wanted to let everyone know that I just finished my 10th year teaching special education students. I also recently ran my first 1/2 marathon up in Green Bay in May and I signed up for another 1/2 in September. I still live in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, with my husband, Rick, and our two children. William is now a second-grader and Laura is in kindergarten. This summer, you will find me shuffling my kids to all of their various summer activities and sports. In my spare time, I love to go on long runs and spend as much time outside as possible.” 

ERIN TRADER STROT ’03:“I am still working as a training specialist for the Donor Testing Lab at Memorial Blood Centers in St. Paul. When I’m not training the next generation of lab techs, I’m chasing around my two kids, Veronica, 4, and Madeleine, 2, or training for some kind of distance race. Last year I completed my ninth half-marathon and hope to someday add marathon to this list. For now, I’m just enjoying taking my running adventures off road and exploring local trails in the Twin Cities.”

Thank you again to everyone who continues to send updates. Remember that you don’t have to wait for the twice-a-year call for updates in order to share your latest news. Be sure to check out the new online version of R Connections (www.ripon.edu/rconnections) where you can upload updates, photos and more!