2015 – Fall ’19 Class Letter

Sam Kay

[email protected]

Kaylie Longley

[email protected]


Picture this: I grab a plastic bag and stuff it with half an egg carton and my favorite reusable bottle. I toss clothes in my gym bag, leftovers in my lunch bag, and check the content of my purse, lastly securing my phone with a zipper. I slip into flip-flops and head out the door, teetering because the weight is clearly not balanced. I have the tricky plastic bag in one hand and everything else in the other. I figure I can balance everything from Point A to Point B. Instead of using one overnight bag, I have separated all the next day’s activities by vessel. This was my mistake.

I stumble out of a flip-flop, and the plastic bag falls to the ground. OK, so my precious bottle, with a fraying plastic cup, has another dent. So what? But the eggs? I temporarily forget about them until I get inside my car. Not only have I further destroyed my Morning Joe enabler, all the eggs have cracked. Onto my hands. There goes tomorrow’s breakfast, and all my hope for coffee from a 10-cents-saving-bottle to come. I decide to throw away both. I’ve wanted to buy a French Press or Aeropress for a long time. Why I haven’t, when my favorite coffee requires no sugar or cream, is beyond me. Tonight’s incident surely wasn’t Kaylie’s finest hour, but it reminds me that I’m working on consumption.

It’s funny, I’m a marketer, and one of my core functions is influencing buying decisions (and I know all the variables have to be met to really succeed). And outside of work, I’m a creative, often fueled by caffeine. But I’m also a minimalist and am consciously aware how our culture applauds consumerism as success or “making it” and considers convenience necessary, no longer a luxury.

Straddling all of these roles is no easy task. I don’t need a bag for every element of my life. And I don’t have to worry if my ideologies seem contradictory. Instead, for the first time in my adult life, I’m intentionally working on what matters to me. I’m getting reconnected to my people and creating just for its own sake again. What are you working on? If you’re looking to stay connected, read on. Our classmates are doing great things. As for me? I’m buying that coffee maker tomorrow. 



JAMES ALLEN ’15 of Rochester, Minnesota, is working in medical device research in the Twin Cities. 

RAYMOND ALLEN ’15 of Durham, North Carolina, a Ph.D. candidate in developmental and stem cell biology, has been awarded a Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring. He has formally mentored two undergraduate students. He also has “demonstrated his dedication to mentorship through his activism and leadership in several on-campus organizations.”

MIKE ANDERSON ’15 is completing Air Force Commissioned Officer Training and will report to his first duty station, Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska in September.

CHELSEA GRAHN ANDREWS ’15 of Maryville, Illinois, is a doctoral candidate in the psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is examining how researchers study attention and its changes as we age, specifically in preschool development.

BROOKE BEHNKE ’15 of Brillion, Wisconsin, will be getting married this fall.

KATIE BIEDLER ’15 of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, has only two classes and a comp exam left for her master’s degree at Saint Cloud State University’s College of Liberal Arts and School of the Arts. She has started working as an eyewear specialist cross-trained as an optometric technician at Visionworks.

CAT CARBAJAL ’15 passed the Hawaii Bar.

ANDREW CARBALLO ’15 of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has been traveling with his girlfriend Emily and his family. 

ZACH CONNERS ’15 of Freeport, Illinois, and his boyfriend, Weston Dixon, are loving their new home. They are making small renovations but they won’t be painting any fireplaces yellow again. Zach is still working at CorTech International Staffing, and he is working on opening a new branch of the recruiting office in the Freeport area. 

ELLY DAVIS ’15 continues to grow in the recruiting industry and recently accepted a position for a work-at-home job with Kelly Services. Her hobbies are basically the same: horseback riding, skiing, yoga, hanging out with her cats, drinking beer and brunching. However, she’s recently also added swag grabbing at job fairs and wondering why she’s the only person with six+ hobbies during corporate meet-and-greets.

EMELIA ERICKSON ’15 had surgery on April 9 to donate her spare kidney. The recipient has survived 20 years of kidney disease. They hope her kidney will last him another 20 years. The entire experience was amazing, and Emelia would do it all again tomorrow. A lot of people have questions about the process of becoming a donor or want to share their experiences of donation and receiving with her. If anyone is interested they may contact her at [email protected]. Shortly after choosing a surgery date, she was promoted to run her department at the Lodge Retirement Community after two years with the company.

JEREMIAH HARGIS ’15 of Fitchburg, Wisconsin, is a software test engineer at Epic Systems Corp. in Verona, Wisconsin. His work focuses on performance, data integrity and automated testing.

PETER HAYES ’15 of Chicago, Illinois, is still with Envestnet on the Portfolio Management Consultant team as an investment product management specialist. 

HANNAH HERZOG ’15 of Nashville, Tennessee, adopted an 8-year-old lemon beagle named Clover! She finished her first year of graduate school at Belmont University for her master’s in sports administration. She is spending her summer working and interning with the Nashville Predators NHL team. 

HAYDEN HOERDEMANN ’15 of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, took a job with State Farm in Tempe, Arizona. He moved there in July. Hayden will be an insurance claims specialist in property complex.

SAMANTHA KAY ’15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was promoted to advocacy manager for the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT). In May, she successfully planned four full-day, scientific workshops with 81 speakers and more than 1,000 attendees. Now, she is helping plan the Policy Summit, specifically a day of programming focused on global regulatory agencies. Sam is helping craft ASGCT’s global advocacy program and starting a new initiative to facilitate bringing potentially curative treatments for sickle cell disease to Africa. She is planning a trip to San Diego in the fall for a genetics conference, but also to relax on a beach. Sam spends her free time worrying about who will win the Democratic nomination for president and encouraging everyone she knows to vote, volunteer and donate to ensure that we save democracy in 2020. 

SAM KLEIN ’15 and SERGE FEDOROWSKY ’15 are loving Denver. Serge got his master’s and is starting a new job as the head librarian at a Montessori school. Sam still the lead massage therapist at Spa Universaire. She loves training new teammates and organizing the schedule and such. She enjoys prepping her team for success it’s fun stuff! 

CAROLINE KORDES ’15 is attending Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas.

HOLLY KORTEMEIER ’15 lives in Edgerton, Wisconsin, with her dog, Hooper. She is working as a school counselor at Community Elementary School in Edgerton.

CHRISTIAN KRUEGER ’15 has completed the second year of her Ph.D. in early American history at Marquette University. She will spend the summer preparing for doctoral qualifying exams, which she plans to take in the fall. In November, Christian will present her paper “Battle for the Bluegrass: Racers, Raiders and the American Civil War” at the second annual Equine History Conference at Cal-Poly Pomona.

EMILY LENSMIRE ’15 of Reedsville, Wisconsin, has been promoted to director of traditional recruitment, and she continues to serve as the head women’s volleyball coach. Her daughter, Charlotte, recently was promoted to big sister. Emily’s baby girl, Savannah Jane, was born June 25. 

MARK LISOWKSI ’15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has completed his master’s in journalism from Marquette University. He is spending his summer relaxing and searching for a job in his field. Mark has been visiting the South Shore farmers market on Saturdays and avoiding frozen Stoffer’s meals. 

KAYLIE LONGLEY ’15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, still is working with Bardon Bowling Centers, where she now consults with three locations across Wisconsin on their marketing strategies. She’s also working on a project to inspire creativity for its own sake with ANDREA SCHULNER ’16. She’s tracking her habits every week, like balancing bier gartens with treadmill time, on kaylielongley.com. If you have a creative project you’d like to work on, contact her. She’s helping 19 people shift their schedules to focus on good personal and professional work.

RAQUEL MACSWAIN ’15 of Stillwater, Minnesota, will be starting her second and final year of her school counseling program at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Her yearlong placement will be at the high school level and she looks forward to staying in Portland after graduation. 

NICOLE MALLI ’15 of Washington, D.C., still is working for the Slave Wrecks Project. Over the summer, Nicole traveled through South America for a few weeks and was detained at each border because of her overall Threatening Escobar vibes. In the fall, for her 27th birthday she will be traveling to Las Vegas to see Lady Gaga and Magic Mike XXL for a true sensory experience. Meanwhile, Nicole’s cats will treat themselves to a staycation full of self-care and catnip. They have been catching up on their favorite shows such as Squirrel in the Tree and the sci-fi thriller, Laser Pointer.

EMILY MENGERT ’15 bought a house with BRIAN KOLLATZ ’14 in Maricopa, Arizona, and started a new job as a payroll specialist with Aerotek.

BRI MILROY ’15 and NATE SUIDAK ’15 got engaged in Myrtle Beach in June. Bri finished her master’s in school counseling at Marquette University and will be working as a school counselor in West Allis, really putting that degree to work. Nate started a new job with Titus Talent Strategies in the spring and loves his new role because he gets to work with EMMA BRONSON ’17, ERIN CANON ’17 and DANTE HOUSTON ’01.

JESSICA MORGAN ’15 of Cedarburg, Wisconsin in enjoying married life with LUKE MORGAN ’14. Jessica is working with Gorman Co. as their digital marketing manager for the Brewhouse Inn & Suites in Milwaukee, Stella Hotel & Ballroom in Kenosha and The 1844 Table & Mash. Soon she also will be getting another location in Rockford. She is still managing websites and social media and making promotional videos and other creative material. She enjoys the flexibility of being remote. 

JONATHAN NEWBERY ’15 of Oak Park, Illinois, continues to enjoy his career in the Navy. He is now living in California. 

KORRIN PETERSON ’15 of Burlington, Wisconsin, is excited to marry Stephen Covalt on Sept. 28, 2019. She went back to school to get a master’s in special education and is still working for the Burlington School District and coaching softball. 

JAY PETTENGILL ’15 of Medicine Lake, Minnesota, married Taylor Rush on June 29, 2019. 

BRISTOLE RYFF ’15 is in her first semester of grad school at Purdue University going for her master’s in special education. She’s planning a trip this summer to Arkansas. As always, she’s keeping up with her adorable dog, Dante!

LAURA SAVALL ’15 of Ridgeland, Wisconsin has taken up residence in Vermont and is now a staff attorney with Have Justice-Will Travel, a nonprofit focused on helping survivors of domestic and sexual violence with various legal issues that may arise while escaping abuse. She is pleased to announce that she is officially esquired and admitted to the Vermont bar. 

KARENA SCHROEDER ’15 of Lakeville, Minnesota, celebrated her son, Aiden’s, first birthday in July. Karena and her boyfriend have been amazed as first-time parents at all the new things their son learns each and every day. In career news, on June 1, she celebrated another year as a manager at Sam’s Club. After four years with the company, she has begun slowly searching for a new career opportunity to continue her professional growth in an area outside of retail management. Karena is open to new possibilities, intriguing careers to explore, or opportunities available in the Twin Cities area. Please feel free to reach out to her at [email protected]. She looks forward to hearing any suggestions from Ripon alumni! 

BRIAN SCHUMACHER ’15 and KATIE DREW SCHUMACHER ’14 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, love their new home and are saving up for some exciting new renovations — windows! Brian is a research and development associate scientist in the materials science group at Millipore Sigma. His research has moved to graphene and derivatives for biosensors and drug delivery. In June, Brian and Katie visited BRAD ’15 and SHELBY CHOJNACKI ’13 at their home in Washington, D.C.

KARLYN SCHUMACHER ’15 of Ripon, Wisconsin, is a librarian at Ripon College in fall 2018. She married David Porfirio in June 2019. 

ERIC SEILER ’15 and SAM PETROSKI SEILER ’15 bought a house in Ohio. Sam graduated from medical school June 2 and has residency for family medicine.

LAURA SHIVELY ’15 celebrated two years with Pre/3 Real Estate, a national leader in commercial investment, development and management, in March. She continues to be a leader with the integration of RentCafe with in the company by helping to incorporate the nationwide listing service into the company’s now online portfolio. In her personal time, she runs a zero-waste lifestyle blog and on Instagram to create an honest conversation about and promote eco-friendly swaps and sustainable lifestyle choices. 

LOGAN SOICH ’15 of Chicago, Illinois, passed his last exam and is now a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society. 

ZACH SPACIEL ’15 recently purchased a house in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. He got engaged to his girlfriend, Ivana Karabegovic, in June. 

JOHN SPADONI ’15 and KRISTY OGLESBY SPADONI ’15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are enjoying the summer. John recently went to New Orleans for Jay Pettengill’s bachelor party, and Kristy took a girls’ trip with her mother-in-law to Florida. 

ANTHONY TAUSIG ’15 and ALLISON MACKNICK ’17 of Chicago, Illinois, continue to find the best burger in the city and show off their dog, Tula. 

CASEY VERCAUTEREN ’15 of Chicago, Illinois, was promoted to senior analyst at Accelerated Growth Advisors. 

KAITLYN WELZEN ’15 continues to work at Woodland Park Zoo and is waiting for construction to finish so she can test out the new compositing system. She and her dog also recently moved in with her boyfriend, and Sirius loves the big yard! As if that wasn’t enough, she is also completing a master’s degree in sustainable management through the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s online program.

KEVIN WHITENEIR ’15 will be starting his master’s program in library and information science at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. It is fully funded through the American Library Association’s Spectrum Scholarship.

ANTHONY  “A.J.” ZAYIA ’15 of Eagle River, Wisconsin, was honored by Ripon College and the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education with the Early Career Educator Award, presented to educators within the first three years of their careers based on their positive effect on schools or communities, their innovation in designing learning experiences and their advocacy for students.