2005 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

Co-Class Agents:


(920) 299-1081 / [email protected]


(414) 841-7210 / [email protected]

Hello Class! 

I hope this letter finds you all well – and this time I mean that in the most specific way possible. The past five months or so have brought us all to new challenges. There have been lots of exciting updates from classmates to share – only some are pandemic related. 

First a little news from campus: 

REUNITING RIPON: We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the College when on-campus classes resume Monday, August 17.

Mark Kainz, Professor of Biology, was profiled on July 22, on WLUK-TV, Fox 11 News. Kainz has been working over the summer as a contact investigator for COVID-19 for Winnebago County Public Health.

Now from classmates across the country: 

JESSICA REED BOCCIA ’05 of Mokena, Illinois moved to a new home in early June. It’s only a half mile from where they were living before, so it keeps their kids at the same school, but offers more space and a huge backyard. They spent a lot of quarantine awaiting this move as it was delayed by others involved four times. 

REBECCA SNITILY ELMENDORF ’05 of El Segundo, California has been working full time and taking care of her son, born in September during this “safer at home” time. As he gets older, it gets more difficult!

JUANITA BAATZ GUTBROD ’05 of Sussex, Wisconsin has been teaching Pre-K classes for St. Bruno school in the Milwaukee suburbs and also has been creating hundreds of masks during the pandemic.

CASEY BECKER HARRISON ’05, TERI SOLARZ HATFIELD ’05 and JUANITA BAATZ GUTBROD ’05 reconnected along with their former Bovay floor from 2004-2005 on Marco Polo, a video-based messaging app, and have helped each other through this pandemic situation.

EMILY HECK ’05 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a K4 teacher at the Milwaukee German Immersion School.PAUL LARSON ’05 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, started a new career on March 9 as an actuary at Humana in Green Bay. In mid-July, he passed his fourth exam towards an actuarial credential.

DAPHNE MEYERS LEIGH ’05 of New Berlin, Wisconsin, learned how to teach high school algebra and a Transition to College Math course virtually this spring, got a crash course in all things 4th and 1st grade, and started a math education blog (https://demystifyingmath.blogspot.com/). Once summer break hit, she filled her time with home improvement projects – including removing wallpaper and painting multiple rooms.

LORYN OHLAUG MERRILL ’05 of Woodland Hills, California, her household is chaotic which is the norm with four boys. In late June she started a new job as principal systems engineer with another aerospace company; a big change after 13 years with Boeing. She is settling in and looking forward to getting started in her new role. Not much has changed with COVID-19. The biggest change is no sports for their four boys. Other than that she and her husband are considered essential and have to go into work everyday. This makes homeschooling their kids impossible. She’s looking forward to all the sports opening up so their boys can regain normalcy and see friends again.

BRANDON MUMM ’05 of Ripon, Wisconsin, has used 2020 to make some career changes. This year he has completed schooling to become an EMT. In addition to being a Firefighter in Ripon, he is now a Firefighter/EMT in North Fond du Lac and Menomonee Falls. 

PAUL NEUBERGER ’05 of Colgate, Wisconsin, published his first book, The Secrets to Cold Call Success. About the book: ”Using a process that transcends typical sales roles, this book is a useful tool for any situation where you need to influence people and win them over. From start to finish, you will learn strategies to transform the way you approach selling.”

JESSICA OWENS ’05 of Dumfries, Virginia, moved to a new bigger home a few months before everything shut down. Thank goodness! There’s no way they could have stayed sane with her and her husband teleworking and their daughter doing her school work virtually in their older, smaller townhouse. Jessica still works at the National Archives building in downtown D.C. but their building has been shut down since March and still no word as to when they’ll be able to go back to working in person full time. Her daughter’s school district has announced 100% virtual learning for the fall, so she’s blessed to be able to work from home to be with her as they wait for the schools to safely reopen. Most importantly though they added a puppy to their family in May!

NICHOLAS SMITH ’05 of West Bend, Wisconsin, married BETH HUNTER SMITH ’04 in September of 2018.

As a reminder, our belated 15th Reunion will be held during Alumni Weekend 2021in conjunction with the Class of 2006, June 24-27! Mark your calendar NOW with something fun to look forward to next summer. With an extra year to plan and prepare, I expect to see so many of you there celebrating like it’s 2005! 

Wishing you all a safe and healthy autumn!


A Note from the Office of Constituent Engagement:  Stay up-to-date with our latest news and information. Make sure that we have your most updated contact information including email and phone number by visiting ripon.edu/update-contact-info/ or emailing [email protected].