2020 – Spring ’21 Class Letter
Greetings, Class of 2020!
So much has changed in the world since we last saw each other on campus, almost a whole year ago at the time of my writing. Almost overnight, we went from making plans to celebrate senior week and graduation with our friends and family to having to plan how to return home safely, how to manage online classes, and so many more unprecedented questions.
Despite the many challenges we faced, we adapted, and we persevered. We wore masks and stayed home to protect our frontline healthcare workers; we learned and adhered to new terms like “social distancing” and “contact tracing,” and we made sacrifices for the greater good, like our remaining time on campus with each other and our graduation ceremony.
The most remarkable thing to me, however, is how, despite the many days of quarantine that all blended together into one; despite the days, weeks, and months we went without seeing loved ones, we began to find our footing in the world. We found jobs, started at new schools, got engaged, and so much more. Although we did not have the opportunity to celebrate our collective achievements at commencement like we should have, we already have so much to celebrate that we have done in our short time since we departed campus. Accordingly, here are our Class Notes:
KAYLIE MARKS ’20 of Saint Paul, Minnesota, is in her second year of chiropractic school, living with DAKOTA WILCOX ’19 and their dog. This year she will be taking the board exam, receiving her white coat, and getting married at Ripon College!
KATELYN KABACINSKI ’20 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, is halfway done with nursing school! She will graduate from Bellin College in October with her BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing).
ALEXANDRA MOLINSKI ’20 of Arvada, Colorado, moved this past summer and started a Master’s Program in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling.
JOHANNA WIGAND ’20 of West Allis, Wisconsin, is the Initial Assessment Specialist with the Department of Children and Families with the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services.
ABBY KORB ’20 of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is the Political Research and Sales Coordinator at NGP VAN, Inc.
BRIANA BARTZ PETERSEN ’20 of Lakeland, Minnesota, teaches mathematics at River Falls High School. Briana and TODD PETERSEN ’19 married in the summer of 2020.
After his shoulder surgery, AUSTIN HEISELMANN ’20 of Burlington, Wisconsin, finally got his flight school dates! He will be moving to Alabama to start his Army Pilot Career! Austin has also been working as an Officer in Command for COVID-19 Operations.
ERIC DOLL ’20 of West Bend, Wisconsin, is looking forward to finishing his Student Teaching process!
JOHN MYERS ’20 of Ripon, Wisconsin, married KELLI WALSH MYERS ’16 and they are looking forward to the first spring in their new home!
ALLI SCHLOER ’20 of Park Falls, Wisconsin, got a job teaching art at two elementary schools near her hometown! Alli plans to start online courses in the summer through UW-Superior to work towards her degree in elementary education.
MIYE AOKI-KRAMER ’20 of Madison, Wisconsin, is currently long-term subbing in a seventh-grade science class at Beaver Dam Middle school! In June, Miye plans to move back to Seattle with her fiancé, STEVEN LANPHIER ’17.
DEVIN HOAGLIN ’20 of Davenport, Iowa, is a connoisseur and purveyor of fine meat products in Davenport, Iowa. Additionally, he recently announced his engagement to Ashley Madison.
MAX MINDIOLA ’20 of East Troy, Wisconsin, is enjoying his first year as a dental student at Creighton University, despite taking 50 credits per semester. He is looking forward to enjoying the College World Series and eating more of the delicious steaks Omaha is known for.
ADAM WRONSKI ’20 of Red Wing, Minnesota, began working at PPD, a leading global CRO (Contract Research Organization), shortly after his graduation from Ripon College. He is hopeful that the work of his company and countless other scientists will help bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end promptly and looks forward to reuniting with his classmates when it is safe to do so.
MICHAEL HARTMAN ’20 of Grafton, Wisconsin, is a new Graduate Trustee on the Ripon College Board of Trustees. He currently works for Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (WI-05) in his Washington, D.C. office.
In closing, I want to express my deep appreciation for all of you. This appreciation is based not only on the great experiences and memories we made on campus together but equally on the inspiring contributions you are all making to the world around us already. I look forward to the day (hopefully soon), where we can all be reunited on campus and enjoy each other’s company and camaraderie. On that note, the College has announced a goal of hosting our Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, August 8th, as part of Alumni Weekend; I hope those of you who are able to make the trip will join us in this special celebration. More details will be forthcoming.
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, we, the Class of 2020, will officially be welcomed to the alumni community with a special commencement ceremony.
Keep wearing your masks and staying healthy; better and brighter days are ahead. We look forward to seeing many of you this summer!
ADAM WRONSKI ’20
KAILEE BETLER ’20
MITRA KERMANI ’20
HALEY STOWELL ’20
Your 2020 Class Agents