2003 – Fall ’21 Class Letter

2003 – Fall 2021 Class Letter

Co-Class Agents:


(920) 475-7415 / [email protected]


(917) 509-4826 / [email protected]

Happy fall, Class of 2003!

Classes started on Monday, August 30th and the academic year is in full swing with in-person classes. The College is continuing to follow CDC and Fond Du Lac County Health Department guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety protocols. More information about the new incoming class can be found here: https://ripon.edu/2021/08/31/the-face-of-the-class-of-2025-our-new-first-years.

This past fiscal year: A record-breaking 2,087 donors from all around the world supported Ripon’s fourth annual giving day on April 28, known as #OneDayRally, reminding us all that regardless of the circumstances, Red Hawks come together. 

Thank you to the over 3,600 donors who supported the College this past fiscal year through the Ripon Fund and other initiatives. Ripon College’s endowment recently hit an all-time high; as of Thursday, August 19, 2021, it was at $112 million!

Campus upgrades: The McCullough Family Lounge in Farr Hall of Science—a favorite location of students for studying and collaborative work—recently received an extreme makeover with the intent of making the space more contemporary and technologically friendly. The renovations were made possible by a lead gift from Trustee PHILIP MCCULLOUGH ’69/P’04, and his wife, Pat.

Also, a new Data Visualization Lab was installed in Todd Wehr Hall, which will be a great asset for Ripon’s math and computer science departments. 

For additional updates, consider following Ripon’s main Facebook page as well as these new pages: 

Ripon College Center for Politics and the People: www.facebook.com/RiponCollegeCPP 

Ripon College Center for Diversity and Inclusion: www.facebook.com/ripondiversity 

Class Notes:

GINA COMPITELLO ’03 of Tucson, Arizona, is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Literacy Connects, a Tucson, Arizona, nonprofit that provides free literacy and arts programs to learners of all ages.

LIZ MATELSKI ’03 of Melrose, Massachusetts, is Associate Professor of History at Endicott College. This summer she co-directed a National Endowment for the Humanities three-week seminar for middle and high school teachers titled, “The Salem Witch Trials: Their World & Legacy.”

JAKE PAULSON ’03 of Waukesha, Wisconsin, writes, “The twins are starting 4k this year and our (wife Kathryn and I) daughter started fourth grade. I have a new role for the School District of Waukesha: Secondary Reading Intervention Coach/Trainer.” 

ERIN TRADER STROT ’03 of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, writes, “I am still living out in Eden Prairie, Minnesota with my spouse of ten years, kids (two girls 6 & 4) and two cats (14 & 13) and working as the Training Specialist for the Donor Testing lab at Memorial Blood Centers. In my role, I onboard and train new technicians on the instrumentation and techniques for our lab, revise training materials and SOPs as well as handle staff competencies, continuing education credits, and any training related to major lab changes. In July, I completed my tenth half marathon and on October 3rd, I will be completing the Twin Cities Marathon, my first ever of that distance.”

BRIE TERRELL ’03 of Saint Louis, Missouri, is in her ninth year doing Ortho Trauma in St. Louis, Missouri. She writes, “My oldest just started 1st grade and my baby is in 4K. We adopted a dog earlier this summer – Raven.” Her husband, Jay, remains the only male in the household.

JENNIFER WHITE ’03 of Pasadena, Maryland, writes, “We are ramping up for Landsat 9’s launch, which is currently scheduled for September 23rd! Much of the work is still done primarily from home, but we will be going into the Goddard Space Flight Center to support the launch and commissioning of the spacecraft.” There will be coverage of the launch unless it becomes delayed. Another mission called “Lucy” is going to an asteroid, so if Landsat 9 doesn’t launch by a certain date, the launch team will shift to Lucy. 

ELIZABETH ZIRK ’03 of Portland, Oregon, was promoted to supervisor in June at Road Scholar, a non-profit and leader in educational travel for people over 50. She writes, “Having been hired on in January 2020, and then hanging on through the pandemic, which did result in layoffs, the Contact Center (the whole org, really!) persevered together and chugged along making things work as best we know how! We’re not quite thriving yet, but vaccinated folks are eager to get on the road again with us. It makes for very interesting work in such uneven and uncertain times! But I love my co-workers and I know we’re bringing good into the world!”

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 online version of R Connections (www.ripon.edu/rconnections) where you can upload updates, photos, and more!