2019 – Spring ’21 Class Letter
Greetings, Class of 2019!
As spring sets in, we wanted to wish you and your families a safe and healthy 2021. The previous year has been challenging for many of us, to say the least. COVID-19, racial injustice, natural disasters, and the unrest across the country have left impressions on each of us that will follow us for the rest of our lives. Many of us have gone the extra mile to support one another, our communities, and ourselves. Whether you are currently working in healthcare, COVID-19 relief, fighting for what’s right, or simply delivering meals to those who need it, we send an extra heartfelt thank you.
Reading our class updates always reminds us that we are all still out there making a difference in our communities. While we may be located all across the globe, we remain connected as the Class of 2019. We hope these class updates bring you joy and memories of times when you were not-so-socially-distanced with your classmates.
We also have some updates about the place we all call home. Enrollment is already 30% higher compared to this point last year, with nearly 40% of the first deposits coming from first-generation students. #OneDayRally is April 28th, with a theme of Ripon Over the Years. Be sure to support the school in whatever way you can when the time comes. More details on #OneDayRally will be available as we get closer. We’ve also heard that the new food service provider, SAGE, is an immense upgrade over Sodexo. Those unfortunate students will never know what it was like to have cereal and vanilla ice cream as their only dinner options.
As we move into warmer weather, we look forward to hearing more about your successes, tribulations, and goals. We hope there will be future events soon where we can see each other (probably virtually), pick up where we left off, and maybe even share a beer again.
We have good news to share 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.
JUAN BAEZ ’19 of Dallas, Texas, says, “Just started my new position as a Supervisor at AMF Garland. I started my own video business back in Dallas that is starting to pick up.”
LANE BARNES ’19 of Selma, California, says, “I am leaving the country in April to go play pro football and start a career path in coaching. Hope everyone is doing well during these tough times! Stay strong.”
CARLY WESNER BOWMAN ’19 of Bailey’s Harbor, Wisconsin, says, “Been married for 6+ months now! Ryan and I adopted a rabbit that we named Bandit. He’s super fun! We are exploring other job opportunities around the country and hope to move this spring.”
SAM GINKEL ’19 of Mequon, Wisconsin, is working on two Children’s Books, one about Cryptids and a second about an Uncle and Niece playing pretend.
MELISSA MICALE HACKBARTH ’19 of Neenah, Wisconsin, says, “I have one year left of grad-school at Northwestern University! I will be receiving my Masters of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I am more than halfway done!”
EMMA HALL ’19 of Derby, Kansas, recently graduated Sedgwick County Law Enforcement Training Academy and started as a patrol officer for the City of Wichita in our South Bureau.
OLIVIA HECK ’19 of Bloomington, Indiana, says, “I’m finishing my second year of the School Psychology Ph.D. program at Indiana University Bloomington. I’m looking forward to spending another warm spring in Bloomington going on quarantine walks and bike rides!”
RACHEL HAWLEY ’19 of Madison, Wisconsin, says, “I am finishing up my second year of pharmacy school at UW-Madison from the comfort of my own home with my two quarantine kitties: Pippa and Oliver. This summer I will be working for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as a Regulatory Affairs Intern.”
VINCE HRIBERNIK ’19 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, says, “I’m working as a video operations associate at Forever’s media conversion center in Green Bay. I started the job back in August after a long job hunt.”
KATIE KING ’19 of Tucson, Arizona, says, “I moved to Tucson to begin my Ph.D. program at the University of Arizona. I’ve had opportunities to explore the Saguaro National Forest and red rock formations in Sedona. Though COVID-19 has resulted in all online courses and limited ability to experience my new city, I’m finding ways to enjoy my new home!”
EMMA LEMKE ’19 of Hilbert, Wisconsin, graduated in September of 2020 with a master’s degree in cultural heritage and museum studies from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom. While there, she worked for the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum. Ripon College featured a story about Emma’s internship, which can be accessed here.
WYATT MCGILLEN ’19 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, says, “I am currently living in Milwaukee with MITRA KERMANI ’20 and my two cats, Locke and Hobbes. I work for Prudential Financial as a financial advisor helping individuals with retirement planning and other investment or insurance needs.”
MCKENNA MEZA ’19 of Appleton, Wisconsin, says, “I started my career as a Registered Nurse and got engaged to THOMAS PHILLIPSEN ’19!”
TEARA MORGENROTH ’19 of Greenfield, Wisconsin, says, “I am in my second year of graduate school working towards a Masters in School Counseling. In Fall 2020 I was able to counsel members of the Whitewater community through my practicum experience. Now, I am applying and interviewing for internship positions for the Fall 2021-Spring 2022 school year where I will be able to practice as a school counselor in an elementary, middle, or high school. This will then prepare me to graduate in 2022!”
LUKE MUELLER ’19 of Oregon, Wisconsin, joins the New London School District as a physical education teacher at Lincoln Elementary and Sugar Bush Elementary Schools.
KATE MYSZEWSKI ’19 of Saukville, Wisconsin, is currently teaching middle school band in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Despite the challenges of teaching in-person and virtual students simultaneously, Kate is making the most of it! Outside of teaching, Kate is currently applying for graduate school, has weekly FaceTime dates with BECKY LEUENBERGER ’19, and is enjoying living with her boyfriend and two kitties.
NATHANIEL PAKOSZ ’19 of Frankfort, Wisconsin, started employment as a Clinical lab supervisor.
ROBERT ROSNER ’19 of Madison, Wisconsin, says, “I’m entering the penultimate semester of my master’s program in Water Resources Management at UW-Madison. I continue to enjoy my work as a trainee at USGS and hope to find a position there following grad school. During the holidays, I enjoyed seeing family and spending time ice fishing with my brothers.”
SHANE STRABLEY ’19 of Waterford, Wisconsin, is currently in his second of three years at Marquette University Law School.
ALEC SUTTON ’19 of Los Gatos, California, is attending graduate school at Montana State University Billings.
NICK TARANTO ’19 of the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, is working for Life Time, the fitness brand, at their corporate office.
SAVANNAH WHITE ’19 of Carol Stream, Illinois, says, “My partner and I will be moving in together this summer. We’ve been house hunting and it’s been quite the experience. We also have plans to adopt another fur baby as soon as we get settled. I’m a little over halfway through my graduate program and I have been adapting drama therapy for a virtual space since September. Working with the kindergartners and second graders has been an incredibly unique experience. I have also secured a placement for next fall at a partial hospitalization program for adults and adolescents and I’m looking forward to the new challenge. Additionally, I officially became published for the first time in November 2020 and presented the research at the North American Drama Therapy Association Conference the same month. You can find my article in volume six issue two in the Drama Therapy Review!”
Take care of yourselves and each other. <3
Our best to you,
OLIVIA HECK ’19
TYLER STURZL ’19
Your 2019 Class Agents