2019 – Spring ’22 Class Letter
As the snows melt, the birds return, and the flowers begin to poke through the ground, we once again want to extend a happy and healthy 2022 to you and yours. While the world continues to throw challenge after challenge at us, from the third year of a global pandemic to the continued economic and racial injustices affecting so many communities, don’t forget to love each other and spread kindness and compassion wherever you go.
Hearing from all of you on the remarkable achievements you have accomplished and the contributions you have added always reminds us that there are remarkable people doing incredible things across the globe. Although we may be physically separated, we remain connected by our shared memories as the Class of 2019. We would love to see each and every one of you and reconnect at Alumni Weekend this year, June 23-26. More details about that will be available soon! And as always, we have a few updates to share with you about the goings-on around Ripon’s campus.
Despite the pandemic and all the problems that come with it, Ripon College once again saw outstanding support from friends, family, and alumni, with total giving for the past fiscal year reaching over $4.6 million. Thanks to your generosity, Ripon will continue to inspire future generations to be leaders in our communities.
Rafael Salas, professor of art, was appointed to the Wisconsin Arts Board by Governor Tony Evers in February, where he will serve for three years to continue supporting and developing the arts across the state.
As of writing this, Ripon continues its search for a President to replace Dr. Zach Messitte, who stepped down after the Fall 2021 semester. MARK FRANZEN ’83, a trustee and chairman of the selection committee, recently updated our community stating that there is a strong number of applications coming in and an overwhelming interest from alumni, staff, community members, and students. The committee expects to begin interviewing candidates sometime in March with an offer to a candidate in late spring.
And now our Class Notes!
SHANE STRABLEY ’19 of Waterford, Wisconsin, writes, “I will be graduating Marquette Law School in the spring.”
BRENT ANDERSON ’19 of Columbus, Ohio, writes, “I recently moved to Columbus, Ohio, after receiving my Masters in Nonprofit Administration from North Park University in Chicago this past May. I’ve been working for the Student-Athlete Support Services Department at The Ohio State University since July of 2021. I’m currently an academic advisor for Student-Athletes on the football team, softball team, women’s basketball team, and men’s and women’s fencing team.”
AMBER HAUGEN ’19 of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, started medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
MELISSA MICALE HACKBARTH ’19 of Neenah, Wisconsin, writes, “At the beginning of March, I will graduate with a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and will be working in the private practice-outpatient setting.”
OLIVIA HECK ’19 was featured in the Ripon Magazine‘s Winter 2022 edition. You can read the Ripon Magazine online at ripon.edu/about-ripon/publications/.
PAYTON BLESSING ’19 of Appleton, Wisconsin, writes, “This past summer, I moved to Appleton, Wisconsin, and started a new marketing job with Jewelers Mutual Group! This move was particularly exciting for me as it meant moving back to my hometown, allowing me to get back involved with a community that’s near and dear to my heart. I also adopted my first dog, a tiny German shepherd-beagle mix named Pippin!”
LAUREN GOOD ’19 of Wautoma, Wisconsin, writes, “I bought my first house and have been traveling throughout Wisconsin, Michigan, and Colorado skiing!”
BECKY BAJT ’19 of Coal City, Illinois, writes, “The eighth of May 2022 is the day I get married to my high school sweetheart! Ripon gave me friends that will be standing alongside me, MARI LASKA JORDAN ’19 and RAUL HARO ’19! My College roommate of all four years, EMMA LEMKE ’19, will be our officiant!”
CARLY WESNER BOWMAN ’19 of Charlotte, North Carolina, writes, “Living in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the time being! I continue to work from home, while my husband, Ryan, pursues a career in youth ministry. Things are never dull! My husband, Ryan, and I have the exciting opportunity to take on a position together as youth organization leaders at a local church. Excited for what’s to come! Until then, Ryan and I work part-time as we explore further opportunities. Life in Charlotte is nice! The warmer weather, and of course, no snow, is perfect for us!”
VANESSA VILLARREAL ’19 of Waukesha, Wisconsin, writes, “In October 2021, I started a job as a registration and regulatory compliance associate for SC Johnson in Racine, Wisconsin. I will be moving to Racine in June.”
RACHEL HAWLEY ’19 of Madison, Wisconsin, writes, “Not much is new! I am still living in Madison, Wisconsin, and finishing up my Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Please reach out if you find yourself in the area! I’d love to take you out for a beer!”
TARYN BOSQUEZ ’19 of Bloomington, Indiana, writes, “I am currently in the middle of the third year of my Ph.D. program in Neuroscience and Psychological & Brain Sciences at Indiana University, and will be entering my fourth this coming fall. Doing research has kept me quite busy; however, the project I’ve been working on, which will be a component of my thesis, has really taken off and I am excited for where it could lead down the road. Also, this past year I have gotten engaged and will be getting married this summer!”
ERIC FELS ’19 of Hubertus, Wisconsin, writes, “After completing my stint with the U.S. Forest Service, I recently started a new role as Ticket Staff & Office Coordinator at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton! I am ecstatic to be returning to the Fox Valley and living close to friends and family.”
As the warmer weather starts to arrive, we once again look forward to being able to spend time with family and friends outdoors. We are eager to hear all about the life events you have experienced since leaving Ripon and hope to spend some time with you in June. Until next time!
Your 2019 Class Agents,
Eric Fels ’19