Class Notes


55th reunion
June 8–10, 2018

Dale Chihuly ’63, Hon.’86, renowned glass artist, partnered with Maker’s Mark Distillery Inc. to create Chihuly at Maker’s, a limited-run special exhibition of his work, featuring seven installations that complemented the distillery’s landscape and architecture.


An article in the Coachella Valley Independent profiled the career of Daniel Waddell, calling him “the best piano player nobody’s ever heard of.” Dan received a music scholarship to attend Puget Sound, where he met his wife,  Robin Bloms Waddell ’68. Dan’s career includes working on cruise ships, and being a featured pianist, music director, accompanist, and organ designer. He lectured at The University of Arizona and has spent the last 25 years teaching at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, Calif.


Dwight Mears was featured in an article in the Green Valley News marking the 30th anniversary of the end of the Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile program. After graduating from Puget Sound, Dwight entered the Air Force, where, as a new deputy crew commander at McConnell Air Force Base, he was assigned to the Titan II program. Over the next 20 years, Dwight moved up the military ranks, becoming a commander, then instructor commander on a line crew, before promotion to the Air Force’s Plans and Intelligence Division. He retired from military service shortly before the Titan II program ended.


George Obiozor was profiled by The Authority newspaper of Nigeria. The article chronicled his life from birth through his nearly 40-year diplomatic career for the Nigerian government. The piece reads: “For defining pathways and templates of engagement for Nigeria which will enhance her fruitful relationships in a competitive global village; for deploying realism and pragmatism as the new language of international diplomacy, Professor George Obiozor is The AUTHORITY Icon.”


A new series of colorful and engaging books for preschoolers by Karen Robbins M.Ed.’71 was published by Schiffer Publishing. Think Circles!, Think Triangles!, and Think Squares! are lift-the-flap color and shape books designed to increase language and math skills and develop small motor skills in children. Ten more of Karen’s books have been selected by the publishing company for future publication.


45th reunion
June 8–10, 2018

Lynn Humphrey Kaho`ohalahala took her seat as principal of Lahainaluna High School in Hawai`i, in July, reports Lahaina News. She graduated from Lahainaluna in 1969 and earned her bachelor’s degree in education at Puget Sound, before completing her M.Ed. at Heritage College and Certificate of Administration at University of Hawai`i, Manoa. Lynn taught for two years in Tacoma, then returned to the islands, teaching and serving as an administrator  at the elementary and high school levels for more than 25 years before returning to lead her alma mater.


Barbara Baldwin joined the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District special education team. She brings to the post 40 years of experience as an occupational therapist working with autistic children and students diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

After 35 years living in the Washington, D.C., area, Wendy Severin Goldfein ’75 and Michael Goldfein ’75 have moved back to Tacoma. Wendy retired from a teaching career with Fairfax County School District and now writes STEM curriculum and conducts workshops for museums and schools with her company, Get Caught Engineering. Michael retired from broadcast journalism after a long career reporting on the White House and Congress for television stations across the country. He returned to graduate school to earn his master’s degree in history and now writes history curriculum and is researching a book. Wendy and Michael are delighted to be back in the Pacific Northwest.


Paul Ried was part of a team of independent financial advisors who met with members of Congress in June to discuss the goals of preserving Americans’ access to affordable, objective financial advice and protecting investors. President and CEO of Paul R. Ried Financial Group in Bellevue, Wash., Paul has been an independent advisor for 31 years.


Fire Service Chief Patrick Piper served as the faculty speaker at the Bates Technical College 2017 commencement ceremony. A full-time faculty member at Bates for more than 15 years, Pat served as a fire captain at Naval Base  Kitsap-Bangor for 20 years before joining the faculty.


John Glad and his wife, Molly, opened CPR Cell Phone Repair in Silverdale, Wash., joining the largest and fastest-growing retail mobile device repair franchise network in North America.

Take Me With You book coverScott Jackson ’80, Hon.’10, P’15 published his autobiography, Take Me With You (272 pages, SelectBooks, hardcover), in March. Scott tells us: “The book details how the challenges of abuse, poverty, racism, and fear that I faced throughout my childhood inspired me to become an active leader in the fields of global development and philanthropy. Since receiving my history degree from University of Puget Sound, I have used my education and experiences to live a life dedicated to charity and goodwill, serving as the senior vice president of World Vision U.S. and vice president at PATH before taking my current position as president and CEO of Global Impact.” More on the book and Scott can be found at

Deanna Watson Oppenheimer ’80, P’11, P’14 launched startup BoardReady in June. By partnering with Bellevue-based company Vettd, which offers research-based analytics, BoardReady aims to promote the inclusion of women on corporate boards by efficiently matching up the needs of a board with potential candidates.


The Routledge Handbook of Ecological and Environmental Restoration book coverStuart Allison published his second book, The Routledge Handbook of Ecological and Environmental Restoration (604 pages, Routledge, hardcover and eBook). He served as the book’s co-editor, in addition to writing a chapter and co-writing the introduction. Stuart reports that he’s happy the project is complete, so he can “get back to the actual work of restoration in the field.”

Gary Souza and his family-owned company, Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, had a busy—and successful—Fourth of July. Gary’s brother, James, was interviewed by The Orange County Register about his family’s 127 Independence Day fireworks displays, expected to be seen by 18 million people in the greater Los Angeles area. The company plans and executes 400 spectacles a year, including the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in New York City, which Gary, James says, devotes a good part of his year to organizing.


zuChem Inc., an innovative supplier of glycochemicals and specialized sugars for the food ingredients, fine chemicals, and related industries, appointed Daniel Cummings as chief operating officer and general counsel in July. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the company’s efforts surrounding the manufacturing and commercialization of its xylitol product, in addition to managing legal functions of the company and serving as an integral member of the zuChem executive team.


George Fox University named Robert Hamilton recipient of the 2016–17 Faculty Achievement for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship award. A professor of physics in the university’s College of Engineering, Bob researches the properties of waves formed by the interaction of the solar wind—the blast of charged particles from the sun—and the sun’s magnetic field.


Joy Del Calzo is the new residential health services director for Timber Ridge at Talus senior living center in Issaquah, Wash. There she assists residents with navigating available services that create a bridge between independent living and nursing care, based on their individual needs. 


The Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College named Jill Greenwood Nord Family Curator of Education, overseeing the museum’s public programs and community outreach.


Forrest Pierce was composer in residence at the Wyoming Festival, a chamber music festival in Grand Teton, in August. The festival is devoted to the creation of new concert music and hosts world-renowned musicians. A composer and poet, Forrest teaches at The University of Kansas and is deeply engaged in working with sounds and processes of nature to create music that helps expand listeners’ understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

Walkabout Undone book coverDavid Watson published his first book, Walkabout Undone: A Memoir (250 pages, HenschelHAUS Publishing, paperback and Kindle editions), telling his experiences of academic shenanigans, racism, and xenophobia resulting from his decision to follow love to Australia. Walkabout Undone is available on Amazon.


Debra Christnacht is the new music teacher at St. Frances Cabrini School in Lakewood, Wash.


20th reunion
June 8–10, 2018

Schelli Slaughter took over as director of Thurston County Public Health and Social Services in Olympia, Wash., in March.


Ute Land Religion in the American West, 1879-2009Brandi Denison’s first book, Ute Land Religion in the American West, 1879–2009 (330 pages, University of Nebraska Press, hardcover), was published in July. The result of six years of archival and ethnographic research, the book is part of the New Visions in Native American and Indigenous Studies Series. Brandi shares that since graduating from Puget Sound, she obtained her master’s degree in religious studies from University of Colorado Boulder in 2003, and her doctorate in religious studies from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011. Currently an  assistant professor at University of North Florida, Brandi lives in Florida with her husband, Russ, and two children, Sophie and Charlie.


Todd Caffey M.Ed.’01 was the subject of a Thurston Talk profile about his experiences overcoming challenges as a young man to pursue a college education and a master’s degree—and how his story inspires students at Tumwater High School, where he works as a counselor and the school’s diversity group advisor.

George Vogelei joined Transwestern’s Washington, D.C., office as executive vice president of agency leasing in May. His specialty in the full-service commercial real estate firm is in landlord representation in lease transactions for institutional and private owners of commercial real estate throughout the D.C. metro area.


Nicola Shangrow Reilly was named executive director for the Monterey Symphony, entering its 72nd season this fall. She sits on the board of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras and is a member of the music ensemble Tuxedo Boombox. 


In July Eden Leonard became the president and executive director of World Ocean School, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides experiential education for at-risk youths aboard the historic landmark tall ship Roseway. She sends this update: “I initially started with World Ocean School in 2009 as a volunteer deckhand educator. My life was  forever changed from my first voyage aboard Roseway to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, from Boston in 2009, and  my role within the organization has evolved. I am honored and privileged to take on this new role. Fortuitously I also have fellow Logger Paul Morris ’95 on my team of advisors for our Development Committee. I am very much looking forward to seeing how we can evolve World Ocean School together.”


Dillon Garrison joined Royal Real Estate in Cut Bank, Mont., in June. After graduating from Puget Sound, Dillon earned his M.B.A. from California State University, Long Beach. He also is a licensed insurance agent and has  owned and operated a Cut Bank Farmers Insurance agency for three years.

GeekWire caught up with Nellie Shamrell-Harrington in a “Working Geek” feature in June, profiling the senior software engineer for Chef in Seattle. In the article Nellie discussed her role governing Chef’s open-source projects, Supermarket and Habitat, and her work as a mentor with Operation Code, a nonprofit that teaches technology skills to veterans.


Noah Brod was the featured speaker at an InnovateHer 2017 competition in Santa Clara, Calif. The InnovateHer challenge aims to find innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families through local competitions across the country. Currently an economic business development specialist with  the U.S. Small Business Administration, Noah works to support and encourage small-business ownership and  growth throughout Northern California.


Computational biologist Kim Dill-McFarland presented her research that spouses and siblings who report feeling close to one another are more likely to exhibit gut microbial communities that are similar to one another at the annual American Society for Microbiology meeting in New Orleans, in June. 


Hannah Johnson opened Cabra Coffee in Cedar Crest, N.M., in April. An article about the shop in the Mountain View Telegraph reports that Hannah was first bitten by the coffee shop bug while working at a campus café and earning  her biology degree at Puget Sound.

Kaleb Shelton-Johnson joined the Puyallup Police Department in May. In a profile by the Puyallup Herald, Kaleb shares that he recognized that skills he honed while playing basketball for the Loggers, including leadership and physical strength, and the self-discipline he has learned from studying the piano since age 6 would serve him well in law enforcement. Even his Spanish degree would come in handy. 


5th reunion
June 8–10, 2018

Collins Memorial Library welcomed Adriana Flores as archivist and special collections librarian in July. In this role she’s responsible for a wide range of services, including working with donors, managing collections, assisting researchers, and working with faculty members to promote the use of primary source materials in their classes. Adriana serves on the Students and New Archives Professionals Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists, and is a frequent contributor to the roundtable’s “Year in the Life” blog series following new archivists in their first professional positions.

Meghan Werft is an editorial coordinator at Global Citizen. Her recent stories center around topics including education and justice for girls, protecting the environment, and equality for all.


In May Miranda Kent performed in Wayward Ladies’ Finishing School–A Circus Show, a showcase of students graduating from the New England Center for Circus Arts. Miranda discovered circus at Puget Sound, reports The Commons newspaper. At first she was a prop manipulator in the circus club, but soon found her true passion in trapeze.

Toria Messinger is pursuing her doctorate in cultural studies and social thought in education at Washington State University, where she is working as a graduate assistant as she completes her degree.


Jonathan Park is a contributor to International Policy Digest, where his bio reports that he’s a graduate student at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs studying transnational and cyber security. He currently works as a research assistant for The US-China Strong Foundation, and hopes to work as a security analyst for a think tank after graduation.


Comparative Advantage, Stanford University’s undergraduate economics journal, published research by Justin  Wagers. The paper, “Vocabulary as an Indicator of Creditworthiness: An Analysis of Public Loan Data,” takes a word-frequency approach to 36,055 loans from the peer-to-peer lending platform Lending Club, and evaluates text submitted by borrowers to improve the prediction of whether they will pay back their loans.