2016–Spring ’18 Class Letter

Class Agents:

Sara Driebel

[email protected]

Zachary Peterson

[email protected]

Elizabeth Yamat

[email protected]

Spring 2018

Hello Ripon Class of 2016!


Spring has arrived again, and it is hard to believe that we are coming up on two years since graduation! I’ll never forget the feeling of springtime at Ripon College. The snow slowly melts leaving muddy hills behind, the tables, chairs and umbrellas return to their places outside of the Commons and the Pub, and there is the unmistakable feeling of excitement mixed with the stress of finals as summer break approaches. These are the memories, among many others, that as a class, we will always cherish and share together, regardless of the time that passes since our graduation.


Keeping in touch through these class letters is one way that we are able to continue to share our lives with each other, an extension of the memories of our alma mater that connect us all, no matter where our lives after Ripon College take us.


This is why it is so wonderful to hear about all of the successes, life events, changes, and updates from those of our class. Only two years have passed, but the accomplishments have been many! Please continue to send your class agents any updates that you would like to be included in the next edition of our class letter, or send them to [email protected]. We want to hear about it all; everything that is happening in your life, whether it be big or small, that you are looking to share with your class!


Sara, Zachary, and Elizabeth


Here is what the class of 2016 has been up to recently:


ALISON LEAVER ’16 is finishing up her second year at Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.


ALLISON BARNES ’16 has accepted a new position at Direct Supply as a Capital Sales Consultant.


ALYSSA KENNEDY ’16 will be finishing up her medical school didactics and will be starting her 3rd and 4th year Medical Rotations at BroMenn Medical Center in June!


ALYSSA NYCZ ’16 is over halfway through medical school at the medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin-Green Bay, which means she has survived thus far! Just so no one is confused about where her loyalties are, she still proudly wears her Ripon gear around the St. Norbert campus where her classes are currently held.


AMY FELS ’16 is attending graduate school at UW-Milwaukee, where she is working towards two master’s degrees, one in History, and the other in Library and Information Studies. She is also working as a research assistant in the history department fo the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee.


ELIZABETH YAMAT ’16 has been enjoying spending time with her new husband, Brady, and their Beagle, Charlie. They like taking walks together, and watching Netflix.


EMILY GARY ’16 works for BMO Harris. She is living in Milwaukee and is coaching volleyball for 12-year-olds at Midwest Penguins!


FRANK STELTER – HOGH ’16 is teaching Physical Education and Health at St. Athanasius School in Evanston, IL. He is coaching football and track at his Alma Mater, Evanston Township High School. He has also finished his driver’s education certification and is working hard towards his personal training certification as well.


GARRISON ANDERSON ’16 was recently named as a finalist for a Presidential Management Fellowship by the United States Office of Personnel Management.


HOPE BELL ’16 is headed to South Korea to teach World History!


JAMES-MARK OOKO-OMBAKA ’16 may have completed his Sociology major and Politics minor when he walked with the Ripon College Class of 2016, but he was technically not a full graduate yet. With the help from two great advisors (Professors Shatzinger and Eaton), James was able to complete his last few credits studying International Law & Organizations with the Washington Semester Abroad program over the fall semester. During this program he also interned at the National District Attorney’s Association (NDAA) and got to attend congressional hearings and play an integral role in researching and analyzing potential ways to reform the criminal justice system. James then moved to New York in January and was able to find a position working for a startup advertising firm as a Marketing Associate. Today his job is helping local businesses in the White Collar industry grow by using advertising to increase their online presence to boost their clientele!


As most college students leave college trying to decide what mark they want to leave on the world, it helps to have a liberal arts education that makes you applicable to all kinds of professions and trades. Wisconsin, to DC, to NY, James’ journey after walking with his class in 2016, has brought him so many different experiences and challenges. He is not sure what surprises and obstacles are ahead, but one thing he does know is his Ripon College education has him well prepared


JEN KELLER ’16 has had a crazy exciting year! Living in Milwaukee with EMILY GARY ’16 and alongside so many Ripon friends has been the biggest blessing. She began full time work as the Administrative Services Coordinator for the Villiage of Richfield in conjunction with her continuation to pursue her Master’s Degree in Public Administration. In May, she anticipates graduating with her MPA degree at UW-Milwaukee!


JORDAN POLK ’16 is working for Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC) as an Event Manager at Lucus Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. He helps run and organize major events, such as Colts games, the NFL Combine, Big 10 Championship, and Monster Jam!


JOSH LUNA ’16 is still fly.


JENNIFER NIGGEMEIER ’16 is looking for a great new job! If you have any leads, hit her up!


KATHERINE TREDINNICK ’16 is currently interning in the Cincinnati Zoo’s Africa department and gets kisses from superstar hippo, Fiona, on the daily. She is thoroughly enjoying working with and learning more about animals that she observed frolicking on the Tanzanian savannahs a few years ago. She will soon be attending a National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association conference soon in preparation for a paid position at Oaken Acres Wildlife Center in Sycamore, Illinois this summer. She is living the dream as she works on her application for the 2019-2020 school year for a DVM/MPH dual degree.


KAY LULING ’16 is working for a marketing firm and was recently promoted from Marketing Assistant to Account Coordinator. This has led her to taking on more responsibility with non-profit clients that work with her company to develop direct mail fundraising programs. In September of 2017, Kay and her boyfriend of five years got engaged and could not be more excited to take the next step and celebrate with their family and friends!


KELLI WALSH ’16 is living the dream!


MAGGIE BREEN-LYLES ’16 is working at the Mayo Clinic. She coordinates clinical trials in Gastroenterology and is working on a community health study.


MAGGIE DYKSTRA ’16 is teaching elementary art in Ripon, Wisconsin.


MATTHEW SCHULTZ ’16 has decided to pursue a career in the nursing field due to a prolonged illness in the family. He is looking forward to help other patients and families through hard times! Matthew is currently working toward a certification as a nursing assistant with plans to return to school for a nursing degree down the road. This year, Matthew will be finishing up his term as Special Graduate Trustee to the College and is looking forward to finding new ways to stay involved with Ripon


NICK LUEDKE ’16 became co-first author of a review article published in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics titled “Flavin-dependent thymidylate synthase: N5 of flavin as a methylene carrier”. He presented his research on this topic at the Midwest Enzyme Chemistry Conference at Loyola University in October 2017 and will continue his research as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) predoctoral trainee in biotechnology. To professionally develop other students and advance the University of Iowa as a premier research institution, Nick was elected onto the executive committee of the University of Iowa’s Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing. His athletic career at Ripon College means Nick still has a place his heart for running and completed his first week running more than 100 miles in August 2017.


NIKKI ATHANASIOU ’16 and TONY KAATZ ’16 are celebrating their marriage as of February 3, 2018. They have moved to a home in Waukesha together!


RACHEL ROKUSEK ’16 is working as a legal assistant for a law firm in Wheeling, IL.


RAE BRIXIUS ’16 is working for former Ambassador Chris Hill and wading through mountains of readings for graduate school! In her rare moments of free time, she climbs as many real mountains and tries as many new craft beers as possible.


SARA DRIEBEL ’16 has taken a career change and is now the Community Relations/Human Resources Associate for the City of New Berlin. She loves the creativity involved in running the employee Wellness program and getting to work with local businesses to promote growth.

She is also exploring her love of exploring with a trip to visit KATHERINE TREDINNICK ’16 in Cincinnati and ERIKA RIEBE ’16 in Minnesota!


SAMANTHA DEY ’16 is teaching high school students. She has recently started teaching Forensic Science as well, which is an interesting and neat addition to her lineup!


STEPHANIE ROSENOW ’16 is in a new position now with Oshkosh Corporate! She got a promotion and is now a Communications Specialist. She still coaches cheer, is in the search for a new car, and is catching up with friends as time keeps flying by!


TY KETZ ’16 is teaching elementary physical education in the Baldwin-Woodville School District. He is an assistant coach on the football, basketball, and baseball teams at the high school. He just finished up the basketball season and will be heading in to the baseball season soon. Teaching the little kiddos has been incredible!


ZACH BRAYER ’16 is living in Ripon and working in Oshkosh!


ZACH MUENCH ’16 is still in PA school at Marquette working toward his Master’s Degree.