Class Notes


Donald Doman wrote a review of Tacoma Little Theatre’s production of A Little Night Music for The Suburban Times in March. The Tony Award-winning musical, written by Stephen Sondheim, takes place in Sweden and centers on three main characters—an actress, a married virgin, and a student—who become tangled in a web of love affairs. According to Donald, the local theater’s production was fantastic. “An outstanding production with a striking set,” Donald wrote. Donald is a local businessman who owns multiple online marketing companies and local business directory websites. He attended Puget Sound. 

After graduating from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in geology, Byron Ristvet earned a Ph.D. in geology from Northwestern University and joined the U.S. Air Force. He retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1997 as a lieutenant colonel after more than 40 years of service. The job took him to all seven continents, allowed him to participate in underground nuclear tests, and saw him helping to remediate former nuclear test sites at Enewetak, Bikini, and Johnston atolls; Maralinga, Australia; the Nevada Test Site; and Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan. He is now a consultant to the intelligence community, the Department of Energy’s national laboratories, and the Department of Defense, and lives in Albuquerque, N.M., and Philadelphia, Penn.


Fresh from his second combat tour of duty in Vietnam as a soldier in the U.S. Army, Andrew Hudson came to Puget Sound while still on active duty as a major. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. In the nearly 50 years since, he has written a weekly satire column published in 24 Army newspapers, created a blog called War Stories of an Armed Savage that features 200 war stories and 350 images, and published four books under the pen name Tank Gunner. He has nearly 100 book-signing events scheduled for this year.


Dean Stout ‘74, P’03 retired from the Superior Court of California after 21 years on the bench and 41 years in the legal profession. He served four years on the Judicial Council of California, co-chaired the Judicial Council’s Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee, and served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care. Dean still works part time as a judge, mostly in Sacramento, under assignment from the chief justice. Dean and his wife, Vicka Malone Stout ’74, P’03, split their time between Bishop and Folsom, Calif., visiting their daughters and grandchildren.

Not so retired after a 42-year career as a licensed family therapist, Vicka Malone Stout ‘74, P’03 was appointed by the governor of California in August to serve on the state’s Board of Behavioral Sciences, the licensing and disciplinary board for psychotherapists in California. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and participating in the lives of their daughters, grandchildren, and foster grandchildren. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Puget Sound and her master’s degree in the same subject from Loyola Marymount University.


Actor, radio broadcaster, and producer James Trenton starred in Fish Hook, an award-winning short film about a fisherman who finds a magic hook that allows him to catch anything his heart desires. James plays the part of the fisherman, whose character pays tribute to Portuguese culture. The film was shown at the Port Orchard Film Festival and screened on campus in May. James earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Puget Sound, where he was a member of the tennis team and Kappa Sigma fraternity.


Michael Purdy ‘76, M.B.A.’79 had a new book published in June. 101 Presidential Insults: What They Really Thought About Each Other – and What It Means to Us, explores how U.S. presidents have historically insulted one another, and what this lack of civility means to us in our current political environment. The “quick and fun read,” according to Michael, is “shocking at times, sobering, and thought provoking.” The book is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble. Michael is a presidential historian and author. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Puget Sound.


Former Portland Trail Blazers player Tim Evans will be inducted into the Blaine High School Athletic Booster Club Hall of Fame in September, a March article in The Northern Light indicated. Tim was an all-state basketball player at the high school before becoming a four-year starter for the Loggers. He was drafted by the Trail Blazers in 1978, after graduating from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and theatre arts.

Sarah George was named the new chief advancement officer at The University of Utah in April. She had been working as the executive director of the Natural History Museum of Utah and said in an April 11 Newswise article that she would remain in the position until her replacement was found. She has worked at the museum since 1992, and teaches at the university as an adjunct biology professor. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Puget Sound, her Master of Science degree from Fort Hays State University, and her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico-Albuquerque.


Sandra Brown Luettgen, an English teacher at Cascade Middle School in Auburn, Wash., was named one of three Auburn School District 2019 Teachers of the Year in April. She has been teaching in the Auburn School District for her entire 29-year career, and has been at Cascade for 24 years. In addition to her teaching responsibilities in the classroom, she is an instructional director for the district’s fifth grade Camp Auburn, which allows children to experience nature and the outdoors. She was recognized at a ceremony on May 13. Sandra earned her bachelor’s degree in religion from Puget Sound and her master’s degree in teaching from City University.


Yolanda Scott Machado ‘83, M.A.’91 has been employed by South Puget Sound Community College for more than 20 years as a faculty member and counselor, and was hired as the assistant to the president on indigenous affairs/longhouse director for Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash., this spring. Peninsula is the only community college in the country that has a longhouse—a traditional Northwest coast tribal dwelling that serves as a gathering place on campus where students, staff members, and community members can come together to share and exchange cultural and educational experiences and heritages. Yolanda is a member of the Makah Tribe and will serve as the central ambassador for Peninsula College in expanding and stewarding relationships with the six tribal nations located on the Olympic Peninsula.


With three decades of financial leadership experience, Charles Ferer became chief financial officer of AC Global Risk in March. The company develops technology-based risk assessment tools intended to reduce the impact of internal and external human-based risk. Before joining AC Global, Charles was interim CFO at RetailNext and CFO at PagerDuty, and held positions at Kraft, Pepsi, and The Gap.


The Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation honored the Snoqualmie Valley School District’s 2019 Educators of the Year at its annual luncheon in May. From left: schools foundation board member Sheri Absher; schools foundation president Lorraine Thurston; Mount Si High School AVID students Elena Lopez and Richard Anderson, who accepted the 2019 Educator of the Year award on behalf of their teacher Marcella Murphy; Snoqualmie Valley School District superintendent Rob Manahan (back); Anne Barnard Melgaard ’90; Twin Falls Middle School science teacher and 2019 Middle School Educator of the Year Dawn Frearson; and elementary school custodian and Classified Educator of the Year Robert Lacher.Anne Barnard Melgaard, a third grade teacher at Washington’s North Bend Elementary School, was named a 2019 Elementary Educator of the Year by the Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation in March. She was one of four school district employees surprised with flowers, balloons, and cupcakes in honor of the award. Anne earned a bachelor’s degree in comparative sociology from Puget Sound.

After 20 years as a Washington state social worker, Janice Langbehn went back to school and earned her Doctor of Law degree from Seattle University School of Law. She passed the Bar in September and is now an associate attorney practicing family law at Tacoma’s Lutz & Associates. She says she loves being back in Tacoma after 30 years and is enjoying living at Point Ruston. Janice graduated from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and earned a master’s degree in public administration from The Evergreen State College and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington.


In April, Arapahoe Community College Vice President for Student Affairs Lisa Matye Edwards was selected to join the 2019–20 cohort of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. According to a press release from Arapahoe Community College, the yearlong fellowship aims to develop “exceptional leaders who can transform community colleges to achieve higher levels of student success while maintaining broad access.” Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree in politics and government from Puget Sound, her master’s degree in education from Western Washington University, and her doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado.


Natasha Hollins Egan, executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, organized an exhibit about global migration, immigration, and refugees. According to the museum’s website, Stateless: Views of Global Migration sought to humanize the 68.5 million people displaced in 2018—25.4 million of whom were designated as refugees, 10 million left stateless, and fewer than 105,000 resettled. The exhibit used the work from eight contemporary artists to “lay bare the contradictions inherent to the crisis, finding beauty and strength in the face of collective trauma.” Natasha graduated from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia College.


The Skagit Valley Chorale, conducted by Adam Burdick, was featured in a May Forks Forum article about its May 18 performance at the Rainforest Arts Center. Based in Mount Vernon, Wash., the community choir is composed of 120 members, and the May performance was one stop on the chorale’s American Journeys Tour of the Olympic Peninsula. Adam has headed the choir since 2014. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Puget Sound, a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Washington.


Melissa Moffett, a humanities teacher at Tacoma Public Schools’ Industrial Design, Engineering, and Art (IDEA) School, was named World Educator for 2018–19 by the World Affairs Council in May. She spoke at the Seattle-based organization’s World Citizen Essay Contest and World Educator Awards Ceremony on May 15. Melissa, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Puget Sound, has taught around the world. After graduating, she served as a master trainer and English resource teacher with the Peace Corps in Nepal. She then taught English in China before coming back to Tacoma and working at Jason Lee Middle School, the Tacoma School of the Arts, and IDEA, where she is a human rights advocate who focuses on providing her students with a global education, using her personal experiences to spread awareness of international issues, and supporting students in becoming actively engaged citizens.


Matthew Brown, who has served as deputy chief of police in Poulsbo, Wash., since 2017, was named Port Orchard’s new police chief in early May. Matthew has worked in law enforcement for 19 years and has held roles with police departments throughout the state of Washington. He earned a bachelor’s degree in comparative sociology from Puget Sound.

Penny Rowe, a research scientist at Washington’s Northwest Research Associates, is one of three alumni co-authors who contributed to a paper published in Nature Scientific Reports in March. Puget Sound chemistry professor Steven Neshyba led the study on black carbon and light-absorbing impurities in snow in the Chilean Andes and how the impurities contribute to rapid snowmelt. Other Logger co-authors were Emily Stewart ‘18 and Alec Pankow ‘16. Penny and Emily earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry from Puget Sound. Alec holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.


An associate professor of psychology and director of experimental training at Idaho State University, Tera Harding Letzring was one of five of the university’s professors awarded a 2019 Outstanding Researcher Award in March. Her research focuses on the accuracy of judgments of personality, and in particular on the factors that make accuracy more or less likely. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Puget Sound and her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Riverside.

Diana White ’99, M.Ed.’00 has been working for the National Guard Bureau helping soldiers fund their pursuit of higher education. She was recently transferred from Madison, Wis., to Sacramento, Calif., and is the federal tuition assistance program manager. She counsels National Guard soldiers on college selection and leveraging state and local education benefits with federal and veterans’ benefits, minimizing their need for student loans. Diana holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education from Puget Sound.


Lyn Nakagawa ‘00, an athletic trainer at the University of Hawai`i, was profiled in a National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) piece as part of a series about women in the field of athletic training.In March, Lyn Nakagawa was profiled in a National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) piece as part of a series about women in the field of athletic training. Lyn is an athletic trainer at the University of Hawai`i and serves on the NATA board of directors as director of District 8.


Theatre arts alumna Laura Heywood launched a new radio show in New York City in March. Known as Broadway’s most influential fan, according to CBS’ This Morning, Laura is best known for her long-form interviews with more than 150 Broadway stars on AOL’s Build Series, CBS, Sirius XM, and her own social media channels. But she is also an accomplished sports talk personality, radio DJ, commercial actor, model, and voice over actor, as well as an activist focused particularly on arts education in elementary schools. Laura Heywood Interviews is a twice-weekly, hourlong live show that features celebrity newsmakers, tastemakers, and changemakers from both inside and beyond the world of theater.


In March, Camouflaj, a gaming studio founded by Ryan Payton ’03, revealed its Iron Man VR game, a top-secret project it has been working on for years with Sony and PS4. The game is receiving rave reviews and is expected to be released later this year.Ryan Payton founded Bellevue gaming studio Camouflaj in 2011 with his investor and partner, Puget Sound business and leadership professor Jeffrey Matthews. In March, Geekwire reported that the company revealed the top-secret project it had been working on for years. Iron Man VR is an exclusive virtual reality game for the PlayStation 4 that places the player directly into the role of Tony Stark. There is no official release date, but the game is expected to debut late this year.


Ryan Gustafson was named president of Seattle’s new XFL franchise, part of an eight-team league that will offer fast-paced games with fewer play stoppages and simpler rules than the NFL. According to a March Seattle Times article, games are expected to begin in February 2020. Ryan previously worked as the vice president of business strategy and development for the Seattle Sounders and for the San Diego Padres. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from Puget Sound and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. He also played baseball as a Logger.

Steven Sparks, who majored in politics and government at Puget Sound, received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May. Specializing in American politics, his dissertation investigated the electoral consequences of the top-two primary reform, which was recently implemented by Washington and California. This summer, he began a postdoctoral research position at the University of Oklahoma.


Amber Arndt was one of the co-creators of Puget Sound’s Native American Student Association and now works for her own tribe, the Nisqually Indian Tribe, as a health planner and program analyst. Her sister, Tahni Arndt ‘13, a fellow Puget Sound alumna, works for the Snoqualmie Tribe. “Working in Indian country is extremely important to both of us,” Amber says. “I would love to bring some attention to the potential job market that a lot of people, Indian and non-Indian alike, don’t realize is there. I’d love to be able to spark some discussion in hopes of fostering more connection between Logger students, alumni, and the greater Tribal community.” Amber earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Puget Sound before earning a master’s degree in public health from Missouri’s A.T. Still University.


Performance music major Sam Faustine was cast in the role of Sky Rymand in San Jose Stage Company’s production of Mamma Mia. Recognized as the leading professional theater company in California’s South Bay Area, San Jose Stage Company capped its 36th season with the smash hit ABBA musical about a young woman’s search for her birth father in a sunny Greek island paradise. The show ran from May 29 to July 7. Sam’s character (Sky) is the boyfriend of leading character Sophie.


Alisa Logsdon was quoted in a March Oregon Wine Press article about the use of artificial yeast in the wine industry. After earning a bachelor’s degree in business from Puget Sound, she joined Wyeast Laboratories, a company founded by her mother that specializes in the production of liquid yeast. Alisa is the product manager for the company’s processing facility expansion. She and her two other sisters—the three are triplets—manage different aspects of the business. Tamara Logsdon ’11 is also a Puget Sound alumna. 


The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported on March 31 that Michellie Hess was one of three authors of the Ford  Foundation’s recent white paper: “Road Map for Inclusion: Changing the Face of Disability in Media.” The report “details how few disabled people are seen in movies and on TV and calls for proportional representation going forward. That means there should be one in four people ‘both in front of and behind the camera’ with disabilities, which would match the one in four adults in the U.S. who live with a disability,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told HuffPost.