2015–Spring ’18 Class Letter
Samantha Kay ’15
Kaylie Longley ’15
New Year, New Format. This one’s sent straight to your email inbox. The next class letter? You’ll receive it via good old fashioned snail mail.
We get bombarded with notifications: your phone perches on your desk or in your pocket, buzzing, waiting. Your inbox is flooded with emails, and you hope you remember to reply to that email from Great Aunt Barb… before it inevitably gets lost in the abyss with the likes of emails from old magazine subscriptions asking for you to come back with a “one time only” special (that you will likely receive 5 more times before finally hitting “unsubscribe”, or worse, “buy now”).
Does anyone struggle with this? Or is it just me?
Admittedly, I work in digital marketing. I know that this hypothetical “buy now” button could convert more sales with a turn of phrase, or even a hyperlinked image might suffice. I know that most emails aren’t read, they’re scanned (and that’s if they’re opened at all!). I know the future of this industry rests on understanding these rapidly evolving technologies and the people who can’t help but use them. Whether it’s turning away from or to the technologies, everyone is a consumer.
But I also know that these virtual communications can create connections. They may not replace the day-to-day interactions with the physical landscape. Rather, the two worlds interlap. In fact, the internet was the foundation for relationships with people I haven’t seen (and, at times, met) in years. It’s how I reconnected with people who shared my last name but little memories after age 10. Facebook acted as my mediator when I discovered my grandfather lived within a few miles of my old house. I share only a portion of these stories as I grapple with the implications of this shared virtual and physical world, my past and present experiences, colliding.
I’m not a grumpy want-to-be-minimalist-marketer who so happens to stare at a screen 8-10 hours a day. I’m someone who is simply asking you, dear reader, to put down the cell phone at the coffee shop. Have a conversation. Use this email to remind you to actually talk to people. See how they’re doing. Really ask them the whys and the hows of their life. What lights them up? How are they disappointed, motivated?
Admittedly, in my first draft of this letter, I asked people to play a modern game of I Spy: see how many people resort to their phone in a public place, whether it’s waiting for the bathroom or in line for a hot beverage. Anyone who uses their device loses.
But now I realize how shallow that game is. Phones provide an escape into other people’s lives, but the conversations and connections can also surpass distance and time. Use your devices as you will. But recognize, appreciate, and savor the people in your life. Embrace the mess, the pauses, the snorts of laughter. Visit people and don’t worry about taking another selfie with just the right lighting.
Thanks for your attention.
Until next time,
Kaylie and Sam
JAMES ALLEN ’15 of Rochester, Minnesota, is working at the Mayo Clinic, mainly in HIV research.
MICHAEL ANDERSON ’15 of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, is finishing up his last semester of law school at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He is anxiously looking forward to his coming unemployment.
CHELSEA GRAHN ANDREWS ’15 of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, will be heading to Amsterdam to present her research at an international psychology conference in May. It’s a collaborative project with Ripon’s own Professor Kristine Kovack-Lesh and Becky Leuenberger on attention in preschool aged kids.
LORETTE BEECHY ’15 of Marion, Wisconsin, is living in Ripon, Wisconsin and working as the Lead Teacher in the toddler room at Ripon Children’s Learning Center.
ZACHERY BEEK ’15 and NIKKI BEEK ’12 of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, are happily married. Zach is working at the United States Post Office.
ETHAN BEMOWSKI ’15 of Appleton, Wisconsin, is working as a Technical Recruiter for Aerotek Scientific.
MITCHEL BEILFUSS ’15 of Fremont, Wisconsin, has been working as a project executive at Bayland Buildings in Green Bay since March of 2016.
KATIE BIEDLER ’15 of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, is looking forward to her upcoming trip to see ALI LAPIDUS ’15 and ABBY CHIN ’15 in Boston this May. She enjoys designing marketing campaigns for her Master’s in Strategic Media Communications at Saint Cloud State University, though it can be difficult to manage with full-time work. She spends her free time judging Saint Cloud State University and Minnesota State’s forensics & debate tournaments.
CAT CARBAJAL ’15 is graduating from law school in May. She will be taking the Massachusetts bar exam in July and then moving to Boston in August.
ANDREW CARBALLO ’15 of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, will be graduating from St. Thomas Law School in May. This year, Andrew had the opportunity to argue before the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
SYDNEY CHURCH ’15 of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is working for Jonsonville as a BI Developer. She is getting her MBA through Marquette University. She is marrying Austin Van Treek ‘14 in October.
KYLE CRESS ’15 of Bloomington, Minnesota, will be graduating from chiropractic school in December 2018.
ZACH CONNERS ’15 of Madison, Wisconsin, recently purchased a home with his boyfriend, Weston Dixon in Rockford. He is looking forward to having a yard big enough for his giant dog to play in.
BRANDON DZUBA ’15 of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, is pursuing his PhD in Physics at Purdue University. He no longer works for Theta Chi house. Brandon has started a new hobby, brewing his own beer.
CHRISTIAN ERTEL ’15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is continuing his career with the Milwaukee Bucks as an account executive.
DANIELLE GIESCHEN ’15 of Bloomington, Illinois, will earn her master’s degree in Psychology in May. She plans to continue in the program to get her PhD in School Psychology.
ALLIE HAEN ’15 of Madison, Wisconsin, is working for the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and working on her MBA at University of Wisconsin Whitewater.
JULIA HASHEIDER ‘15 of Ripon, Wisconsin, started her own blog last March, https://www.julesjournal.info. She still works in marketing with Alliance Laundry Systems. Her husband Victor was promoted, and they will be moving to the Miami, Florida area later this year. With deep sorrow and sympathy, Julia and her husband lost their first child to a miscarriage. She says it’s been a journey of both joy and heartache. We hope Ripon provides a sense of family, and we respect her courage in sharing her story so openly.
PETER HAYES ’15 of River Forest, Illinois, is working as a Platform Consultant at Envestnet, a trading proprietary/financial services firm in Chicago.
HANNAH HERZOG ‘15 of Appleton, Wisconsin, will be moving to Nashville this summer and attending Belmont University in the fall to get her Masters in Sports Administration.
HAYDEN HOERDEMANN ’15 of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, will be completing his master’s program at Illinois State in Sports Management. As a men’s basketball coach at Illinois Wesleyan University, his team just clinched a share for the conference title this season. They play in the CCIW.
SAMANTHA KAY ‘15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is working as a Project Manager for the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy. She manages a variety of projects including legislative tracking, outreach and communications, and the newsletter. Currently, she is planning three full day educational workshops for the Society’s Annual Meeting in Chicago this May. She has recently become a vegetarian because other than bacon, what’s the point? Sam enjoys leaving lengthy voicemails for Senator Ron Johnson about his terrible voting record.
SAMANTHA KLEIN ’15 of Baraboo, Wisconsin, has moved to Denver, Colorado. She is now a licensed massage therapist in both Wisconsin and Colorado. Sam started and owns her own therapeutic massage practice, Holistic Healing, LLC, based in Denver. Additionally, she is an independent contractor for a chiropractic office and an integrative health clinic, as an LMT. She also became a Registered Behavior Technician conducting Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy in the homes of families impacted by autism spectrum disorder through a West coast organization called Intercare Therapy. Sam is still doing wellness coaching through a global health organization. She is raising sugar gliders, enjoying delicious food, and playing board and video games.
ANDREW KLINE ‘15 of Chicago, Illinois, started working at a logistics tech company called FourKites last summer.
HOLLY KORTEMEIER ’15 of Whitewater, Wisconsin, will complete her masters in school counseling at UW-Whitewater this May. She is looking forward to new career opportunities!
CHRISTIAN KRUEGER ’15 of Winneconne, Wisconsin, completed her Masters of Medieval Studies in April at Western Michigan University. This fall, she started her PhD in Early American History at Marquette University where she is a teaching assistant.
KARISA SIMONSEN KRUEGER ’15 of Redgranite, Wisconsin, is working at Aurora Medical Center in Wautoma as a patient service representative. She married ANDY KRUEGER ’14 on December 9, 2017. They enjoy playing with their pup Benelli together.
MICHAEL LANPHIER ’15 or Waterloo, Wisconsin, married JOHANNA BURTON LANPHIER ’13 in June 2017. They will be honeymooning in Scotland this April.
ALI KEHL LAPIDUS ’15 of Glencoe, Illinois, is living in Boston, Massachusetts and attending Boston University of Public Health. She is pursuing her MPH in Epidemiology with a focus on Infectious Disease. She recently started an internship at Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Program on Therapeutics, Regulation, and Law.
ARIEL LEE ’15 of Ripon, Wisconsin, has been promoted to Marketing Manager of Heidel House.
EMILY FISCHER LENSMIRE ’15 of Reedsville, Wisconsin, earned her master’s degree in December 2017. Her baby girl Charlotte now has three teeth and is beginning to walk short distances.
TAIHUA “RAY” LI ’15 of Chicago, Illinois, works for CCC Information Services as a data scientist, building AI products.
SKYLAR LIEBZEIT ’15 of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, is the Athletic Director at the School District of Manawa.
MARK LISOWSKI ’15 of Chicago, Illinois, is in his first year if graduate school at Marquette University. He is studying Communication and pursuing opportunities in journalism. Recently, he’s been volunteering as a reporter for Marquette’s campus news, called the Marquette Wire and for Milwaukee’s Neighborhood News Service. Mark is studying piano in his spare time. He looks forward to the warmer spring weather so he can spend more time outdoors and on his bicycle.
KAYLIE LONGLEY ’15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is attempting a depth year by focusing on the projects she loves and wants to get better at, instead of starting something new. Namely, she’s finally reading everything from her overflowing bookshelf, lifting weights and running every day after her job as a marketing manager, and volunteering regularly at a food pantry.
KYLE LOUGHRIN ’15 of Fremont, Wisconsin is working as a sales representative at Badger Sporting Goods.
RAQUEL MACSWAIN ‘15 of Stillwater, Minnesota, is living in Sonoma, California. She is working at the Sierra Outdoor School as a Naturalist Intern.
KATIE JO MCGEE ’15 of Ripon, Wisconsin, was promoted to Sales Director at BrownBoots Interactive in Fond Du Lac.
NICOLE MALLI ’15 of Washington, DC, is living near the DC Zoo where her cats have attempted to escape her apartment to join the big cats. She is still working for the Slave Wrecks Project and will be traveling to Mobile, Alabama to work on the site for the possible finding of the Clotilda. Nicole has cut her hair and dyed it black to reflect her true feelings.
EMILY MENGERT ‘15 of Phoenix, Arizona, is working as a recruiter for Southwest Airlines through Aerotek.
CODY MESSERSCHMIDT ’15 of Madison, Wisconsin, has been working as a Project Manager at Epic since summer of 2015. He recently ate an entire large pizza by himself, but otherwise he’s doing well.
BRI MILROY ’15 of Shorewood, Wisconsin, is attending Marquette University for her masters in School Counseling. She continues to work in the Purchasing Department at Children’s Hospital.
JESSICA SKIBA MORGAN ‘15 of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, married LUKE MORGAN ‘14 on November 10, 2017. Jessica is working with orgSource.
ZAC NELL ’15 of Saint Germain, Wisconsin moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and is now working at Sporttrader. Zac enjoys playing with his dog, Rodgers.
JONATHAN NEWBERY ’15 of Oak Park, Illinois, is living in Pensacola, Florida. He is in advanced jet training with the US Navy.
KYLE NOVACK ’15 of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, is still with the Manitowoc Police Department. He enjoys spending time with his Siberian Husky, Tundra. Kyle is also coaching football at Denmark High School and coaching track and field at Mishicot High School.
ALEXANDRA PATZA PAULSON ’15 of Ripon, Wisconsin, is working as the Choir Director for Ripon Middle School.
KORRIN PETERSON ‘15 of Burlington, Wisconsin, will be marrying Stephen Covalt on September 28, 2019.
JAY PETTENGILL ’15 of Medicine Lake, Minnesota, is attending law school at Mitchell Hamline School of Law this fall.
CHLOE PIEPHO ’15 of Rochester, Minnesota, is living in Los Angeles, California and attending graduate school at USC. She will be completing her M.A. in Strategic Public Relations in December.
MEG RAY ’15 of Wales, Wisconsin, has moved to Delafield and works for Books & Company, an independent bookstore in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
KATIE RODENKIRCH ’15 of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, was promoted to lead psychiatric social worker at SaintA. She is in grad school for clinical mental health counseling with a trauma focus and clinical rehab counseling.
BRISTOLE RYFF ’15 of Tinley Park, Illinois, rescued a 5-year-old dog, Dante. He is a Bichon Mix. They’re having fun learning each other’s personalities. She says he loves to drink out of people’s water cups and sits at the kitchen table.
LAURA SAVALL ’15 of Ridgeland, Wisconsin, will be graduating from Vermont Law this May with a focus on Environmental Justice and Water Quality. Laura works for the Vermont Human Rights Commission which focuses on public accommodation, employment, and housing discrimination. She looks forward to continuing to work in social justice issues after graduating.
DEREK AND KAITY LUECK SAXON ’15 of Minneapolis, Minnesota, are happily married. Derek is working on his PhD in chemistry at the University of Minnesota. They recently adopted a dog named Mowgli.
KARENA SCHROEDER ’15 of Clintonville, Wisconsin, is excited to finally move back to the Twin Cities area. She is currently living in Burnsville, Minnesota and working in the same position as the Member Services Assistant Manager in a new location, the Shakopee Sam’s Club. Her cat, Bambi is doing great with the move and Karena is excited to say that Bambi will be getting a little brother soon! (She hopes this won’t make Bambi any crazier) In early June, Karena and her boyfriend Andrew are expecting a little boy and couldn’t be more excited for this upcoming adventure!
KARLYN SCHUMACHER ’15 of River Falls, Wisconsin, graduated with her Master’s in Library & Information Studies in December of 2017. She is now working as a Research & Instruction Librarian at South Dakota State University.
SAMANTHA and ERIC SEILER ’15 will be married on May 5, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
LAURA SHIVELY ’15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been with Premier Real Estate Management LLC for one year in March. She has been spending more time on her hobbies, morning yoga and spin classes.
ELIZABETH SILVA ’15 of Catalina Island, California, left Chicago in December and is now living in San Francisco, California. She is working for Yelp as an account executive.
JENELLE SIMON ’15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is working as a senior high school coach with the College Possible Program at Milwaukee High School of the Arts.
NATE SIUDAK ’15 of Shorewood, Wisconsin, recently started a new job in downtown Milwaukee at Paycom.
JOHN SPADONI ’15 and KRISTY OGLESBY ’15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are getting married in November of 2018. Kristy now works at a law firm in Menomonee Falls. John works at SurfaceWorks as an Account Administrator, helping company clients design custom office and work spaces. He is the lead of SurfaceWorks’ university and school project design division and helps to create custom common areas and work spaces in schools and universities across the country.
MARA STAEDT ’15 of Appleton, Wisconsin is working as a project manager for HawkPoint Technologies.
SHAUNNA BAUMHARDT STEGGALL ’15 and KYLUN STEGGALL ’14 of Watertown, Wisconsin, are happily married with three boys!
ANTHONY TAUSIG ’15 of Chicago, Illinois is working at Broadspire, a Crawford company, with TIM SINKOVITZ ’13. Anthony lives with his girlfriend of 3 years, ALLISON MACKNICK ’17 and about a dozen mice.
ALISON THIEL ’15 of Ripon, Wisconsin, married JIMMY NIESCIER ’14 on August 19, 2017.
ALEX THILLMAN ’15 of Minneapolis, Minnesota, will be graduating in May from law school at St. Thomas University. He is taking the bar exam in July.
CASEY VERCAUTEREN ’15 of Chicago, Illinois, is working as a management consulting analyst at Accelerated Growth Advisors.
KAMELLE VAN DER LEEST ’15 and ROB WATERS ’15 are living in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. Rob is working at Saris Cycling Group, and Kamelle is working at Dean Health Plan. At the end of January, they adopted a year and a half old Weimaraner named Jake from an Animal Shelter.
KAITLYN WELZEN ’15 of Ripon, Wisconsin, moved to Seattle, Washington, last year and is working as the Recycling & Compost Coordinator at the Woodland Park Zoo.
KEVIN WHITENEIR ’15 of Chicago, Illinois, is now working as an exhibit designer for the Chicago Public Library.
DANNY WOHLFERT ’15 of Middleton, Wisconsin, is working as a pharmaceutical analyst for Pharmaceutical Product Development.
RAQUEL MACSWAIN ’15 and ELIZABETH SILVA ’15 were reunited in California after two years apart. They lived together on 3rd floor Johnson Hall and now they both live in the same sate!
(Left to right) SAM KAY ’15, BRI MILROY ’15, KRISTY OGLESBY ’15, MARA POULETTE ’14, JEN KELLER ’16, and ALI NEMECEK ’14 attended the Anniversary Women’s March in Milwaukee this January.
(Left to right) AMANDA CLARK ’14, KARISA KRUEGER ’15, NIKKI ATHANASIOU ’16, COURTNEY BLOOMER ’16, BAILEY BODEEN ’14, TESSA DILLENBECK ’17, JESSICA MORGA ’15, SARAH CARBALLO ’13, WALESKA RUSS ’13, BRI MILROY ’15, KARENA SCHROEDER ’15, MADDIE POULETTE ’15, AND SAM KAY ’15 celebrate their sorority sisters wedding in Cedarburg. Jessica was happy to share her big day with the many friends she made at Ripon.
JENELLE SIMON ’15, ALLISON THIEL ’15, and KATIE RODENKIRCH ’15 celebrate Allison’s wedding last summer. These three ladies were all part of the Ripon Dance Team and continue to be close friends after graduation.