2014 – Spring ’21 Class Letter
Greetings, Class of 2014!
As we approach the one-year mark of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m finding myself reflecting a lot on change. The transition into spring tends to get me thinking about this topic each year anyway, but this year is different. Usually when I think about change, it’s in a much more gradual sense, but I’m finding it amazing to reflect on just how quickly our world was turned upside down as a result of the pandemic at this time last year.
A student of mine last week likened it to Thanos snapping his fingers in Avengers: Endgame, and it feels like the most accurate description of how we were all forced to process this life-altering change. What’s been really amazing, though, is seeing how the typical changes on the micro level of our personal lives continue to occur despite what sometimes felt like the real-life “end game.” As is evidenced by the below class updates, positive things were still happening this year! Our classmates have been buying houses, having babies, getting promotions, completing graduate programs, and a whole slew of other impressive and inspiring things. It’s comforting knowing that even a global pandemic can’t completely snuff out the joy of these life changes.
RACHEL ZEMAN ADREANI ’14 of Northbrook, Illinois, writes, “I am still working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a labor and delivery nurse (what a time to be a nurse, whew). I got married this past summer to Peter Adreani in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. We now have a beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog puppy named Luna. She’s keeping us pretty busy during this crazy time.”
BRITTANY LAHAIE BARTLETT ’14 of Campbellsport, Wisconsin, and her husband, Nathan, welcomed their first child on January 6, 2021. They are so excited to be new parents to their daughter, Vivian Rose.
ALLY BRETL ’14 of Door County, Wisconsin, writes, “Within the last six months, I sold my home in Milwaukee and moved to Door County. I started a new job at Door County Medical Center as a Behavioral Health Therapist working in two different outpatient clinics through the hospital. I’m very happy to be back home and closer to family!”
SAMANTHA ANGELL EASTBERG ’14 of Marshfield, Wisconsin, graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln with her Ph.D. in School Psychology in August 2020. She and her husband currently live in Marshfield, Wisconsin, where she is completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the Marshfield Clinic.
JAY FISH ’14 of Columbus, Wisconsin, bought a house in May of 2020 where he now lives with his daughter, Nevaeh. He continues to work at American Family Insurance and just finished his third year coaching freshmen boys’ basketball for Sun Prairie.
SAMANTHA GOODWIN ’14 of Dover, New Hampshire, moved from Wisconsin to New Hampshire in early November 2020. She is currently living with her grandparents and looking for work in her new city.
AMANDA FINN HAGGERTY ’14 of Chicago, Illinois, is still doing travel and arts journalism but because of COVID-19 is also doing communications work with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin since September 2020.
MADELINE SOCKNESS HERRMANN ’14 and MAX HERRMANN ’13 of Appleton, Wisconsin, welcomed a baby boy, Fitzgerald, to their family on January 13, 2021.
SPENCER HOFFMAN ’14 and KATHLEEN WENDEL HOFFMAN ’14 of Carol Stream, Illinois, were married on August 16, 2020. Shortly thereafter they purchased their first home. They just recently welcomed their first child, Isaac, on January 27, 2021.
DANIEL MIKESELL ’14 of Bologna, Italy, taught English across China, Japan, Italy, and the U.S. for five years after graduation and is currently working toward his master’s in international affairs with a concentration in energy, resources and environment at Hopkins Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China. You can access a feature story on Ripon College’s website here.
ALI NEMECEK ’14 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, writes, “My boyfriend Mike and I moved a mile across town to the Third Ward in Milwaukee on the coldest weekend of the year with the help of JOHN SPADONI ’15 and KRISTY OGLESBY SPADONI ’15. I will be graduating in May with my Juris Doctor from Marquette University, and I am currently working as a law clerk for a local employment attorney, as well as a research assistant for a professor. My mom, BETH PALMBACH NEMECEK ’79, is still seeking a kidney after she had COVID-19 in October – reach out if you are interested in learning more on how to help!”
RICHARD NOGAL ’14 of Palos Park, Illinois, is a veterinary assistant at Banfield Pet Hospital.
MARA JENSEN POULLETTE ’14 and SAM POULLETTE ’13 of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, welcomed their son, Owen Samuel, to the world in September of 2020. Parenthood has proven to be simultaneously the most rewarding and exhausting experience for both of them, but they’re figuring it out together and are living for all the baby smiles and snuggles. They both continue to work at Lakeland University – Sam as the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Mara as the Director of Cooperative Education. Mara also continues to teach additional courses in professional development to Lakeland students. She has also continued to serve as a volunteer advisor for Ripon’s chapter of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and has enjoyed being able to stay connected to the College through this role.
LIZ WALSH ’14 of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada had the one year anniversary of her move to Northern Alberta on February 21. She still loves her postdoc working with honey bees and the diseases that plague them. Her Texan dog, Stella, vehemently disapproves of Canadian winters, but has learned to live with it.
NIKKI GLASHEEN WEAVER ’14 married CHRIS WEAVER ’16 in November 2020. They are currently living in Lisle, Illinois, with their dog, Zeus.
As the world slowly creeps towards feeling “normal” again, I look forward to hearing about even more of these personal changes and successes and being able to celebrate them together! Don’t hesitate to send us your updates at any time.
We have good news regarding this year’s Alumni Weekend. 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.
Stay well, friends.
MARA JENSEN POULLETTE ’14
TIM HOLME ’14
Your 2014 Class Agents