Kelvin Burzon ’12’s art exhibition titled, “Noli Me Tangere,” will be on display Aug. 30 through Dec. 10 at Syracuse University’s Point of Contact Gallery.
“Noli Me Tangere,” “touch me not” or “don’t tread on me,” (Latin) is a series of photographs that examines an internal conflict of homosexuality and Catholicism, according to a university news release. The photographs address, but don’t aim to solve, the contentions between religion and homosexuality.
Utilizing appropriated religious imagery and language, the work is recontextualized by the insertion of LGBTQ members and activists posing as Catholic deities. Themes, lighting and color treatment are adopted from the works of Renaissance artists. The photographs are then presented as polyptychs in the style of Catholic altarpieces.
“I have always been interested in the religion’s role in culture and familial relationships and have been drawn to the religion’s traditions, imagery, theatricality, and its psychological vestige,” Burzon said, adding that his work is inspired by cerebral influences growing up in and around the church.
“My cultural and familial identity, my memories as a child, cannot be separated from the church,” he said. “It was an integral part of what it meant to be Filipino.”
Burzon received MFA degree from Indiana University’s School of Art + Design, where he developed his most recent bodies of work. At Wabash, he studied studio art and music, and became versed in painting, sculpture, ceramics and photography.
While at the College, Burzon was a member of Kappa Sigma and the Glee Club.
Will Folsom ’15 recently joined Swanson Russell, a branding, advertising and public relations agency in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska.
The agency partners with clients across many industries while specializing in agriculture, construction, landscape/turf, outdoor recreation and healthcare.
Folsom is a public relations associate and will work in the Lincoln office, according to a report by the Lincoln Journal Star. Previously, he worked at Spreetail as a senior product copywriter and marketplace content lead.
While at Wabash, Folsom majored in history and minored in economics. He was an independent, member of the Independent Men’s Association, Student Senate and Glee Club.
Bertrand specializes in complex joint revisions, joint replacement, and orthopedic oncology. He previously served as an orthopedic surgeon at Midwest Center for Joint Replacement.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and doctorate from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2008. He completed an orthopedic residency at Duke University, with a six-month stint at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Bertrand completed two fellowships in musculoskeletal oncology: one at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, and one at Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute in Bologna, Italy.
While at Wabash, Bertrand was an independent and studied chemistry.
In his free time, Bertrand enjoys running, cycling, swimming, and spending time outdoors with his wife, Courtney, and their dog, Alan.
Joe Heller ’04 recently joined coreVISION, a financial consulting firm in Shelbyville, Indiana, as advisor support assistant.
Heller, who previously worked for Penske Logistics, has spent 17 years in manufacturing and logistics, working the bulk of those years as a financial analyst.
“We are excited to have Joe as part of our family,” coreVISION Financial Group officials wrote in a Facebook post, announcing Heller’s hire.
Heller is a graduate of Rushville High School and Wabash College, where he earned a degree in economics. While at Wabash, he was an independent and member of Alpha Phi Omega.
He has lived between Shelby and Rush County for almost 40 years, and has three children, Jackson, Camden and Marle. Heller and his wife, Ashley, spend most of their free time supporting the kids’ extracurricular activities.
Jacob Jeffries ’10 recently joined Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, a family law firm in Frisco, Texas.
Jeffries has experience in civil and family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, property division and appellate disputes. He also handles interstate jurisdiction cases and unique family law cases.
“I firmly believe that we, as attorneys, are advocates and ‘translators’ of our client’s legal problems,” Jeffries said in a news release. “I look forward to assisting the talented team at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson.”
Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Jeffries has been recognized by his peers, earning a spot on the list of Texas Rising Stars each year since 2018 for his track record in Family Law.
He is a member of the Collin County Bar Association, the Denton County Bar Association, State Bar of Texas Family Law, LGBT and Appellate Law Sections, and the Texas Young Lawyers Association.
“Jacob’s substantial expertise will bolster our Frisco team,” ONDA managing partner Brad LaMorgese said. “We know our clients will appreciate him and his ability to find positive solutions even as they are struggling with stressful situations.”
Jeffries is a graduate of Baylor Law School and Wabash College. While at Wabash, Jeffries majored in religion and psychology and was a member of the cross country team.
Dr. Ted Kieffer ’02 was recently named as Blood Assurance’s new regional medical director in Middle Tennessee.
Kieffer is tasked with overseeing and ensuring the safety of donors and collected blood products while acting as a liaison to hospitals. He will also help develop and launch a cellular therapy program, geared toward reforming the way physicians treat cancer, genetic, and infectious disease.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Kieffer join Blood Assurance,” Dr. Liz Culler, the chief medical officer for Blood Assurance, said in a Williamson Herald report. “His medical expertise will be invaluable in providing the highest level of service to Blood Assurance donors, hospitals and patients in the Middle Tennessee area. He will be bringing cutting edge technology to the area in the future.”
Kieffer previously worked as a clinical pathologist, medical director and assistant professor at West Virginia University. In addition, he has experience working as a medical consultant for several companies in Indiana and Arizona.
“When Blood Assurance offered me the opportunity to return to my passion and solely focus on blood banking/transfusion medicine with the added benefit of developing a cellular therapy program, I jumped on it,” Kieffer said. “The cellular therapy program will be the donation program of the future.”
While at Wabash, Kieffer studied chemistry and music and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha, Brass Ensemble, Rugby Team, and WNDY Radio Station. He received a master’s degree in biology from Purdue University and a M.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.
Kieffer resides in Davidson County, Tennessee, with his 7-year-old daughter. In his spare time, he enjoys engaging in community service, listening to and playing music and rebuilding Jeep Wranglers.
Doug Kowalski ’01 has recently joined Kroger Gardis & Regas. He will primarily practice in the areas of municipal law, corporate law and real estate for the Indianapolis law firm.
Kowalski most recently served as chief of staff at the Indiana State Board of Accounts. He also served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Indianapolis under Mayor Greg Ballard. From 2008-2012, he was a major felony public defender for Marion County.
While at Wabash, Kowalski studied speech and psychology and was a member of Phi Kappa Psi, Student Senate and the soccer team. He earned his JD from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
Outside the office, Kowalski enjoys family activities, lawyer’s league softball and mountain biking. He and his wife have three young children.
After years of pushing out thousands of witty one-liner T-shirts from his basement, Joe Johnson ’11 will be expanding Obvious Shirts with the launch of a storefront in late July a block from Wrigley Field.
Johnson’s new moves with the business, which he started four years ago, were highlighted in a recent article by the Chicago Tribune. You can read the full story here.
A Chicago Cubs pitcher inspired Johnson’s first Obvious Shirt in 2015 — “Jake Arrieta is Good at Baseball” — and a chance meeting at a Cubs Convention in 2017 led to a deal with Clark Street Sports that put the shirts in dozens of stores across Chicago.
During the baseball season, Obvious Shirts sells roughly 10,000-15,000 shirts per month from online sales, wholesale and distribution in outlets such as the Cubs Team Store and Clark Street Sports locations.
“It’s nonstop, organized chaos in my brain,” Johnson told the Tribune. “What I’m most proud of is just the fact that my girlfriend and I were able to create this out of nothing and make something that we’re proud of.”
While at Wabash, Johnson majored in rhetoric with a minor in economics and concentration in business and entrepreneurship. He was a member of the baseball team and Lambda Chi Alpha.
Riley Lefever ’17 has recently joined as an assistant coach for the Indiana University wrestling program.
“I’m excited to welcome Riley Lefever to our staff,” IU head coach Angel Escobedo said in a report by WANE TV. “Riley had a tremendous career at Wabash College, becoming only the second wrestler in DIII history to win four NCAA titles. Riley also brings international experience to his resume as he trained at Penn State for the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. Riley will work with our upper weights and will look to help them achieve their goals on and off the mat.”
Lefever, who grew up in Fort Wayne, wrestled at Wabash where he was a four-time DIII National Champion, three times at 184 and once at 197. He posted a 58-6 record at the College, was an independent and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
He was a team captain and a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American. Lefever also earned two NCAA DIII Most Domination Wrestler awards and was also a junior national team member in freestyle.
“My wife and I are very excited to return to the Hoosier state and join the Indiana community,” said Lefever, moved to State College, Pa., to train freestyle with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club for the last five years. “The university and wrestling program has a great group of staff and faculty who are committed to helping the program and the student-athletes achieve success and also create a culture that is comprised of men of character.”
Peter Kempf ’06 was one of three new board members to recently join the DeKalb Chamber Partnership.
Kempf currently serves as a financial adviser for Credent Wealth Management. He previously worked as the head of the Business and Vocational Department, head football coach, Baron Television director and educator at DeKalb High School.
Kempf serves the community as a member of the Rotary Club and with the Friends of the Eckhart Public Library. He and his wife, Jackie, have two daughters and a son and have family roots that run more than 140 years deep in northeast Indiana.
“The Kempfs are passionate about serving DeKalb County and are excited for the future of our community,” the chamber said in a news release.
While at Wabash College, Kempf studied history, education and psychology, was a member of Sigma Chi and the football and track teams. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Western Governors University.
Austin Jarrett ’15 was recently named as the new head coach of Indiana University’s men’s lacrosse program
Jarrett, who currently works as a private client advisor for JP Morgan, has been the defensive coordinator and assistant coach at IU under former coach Peter Nelson since 2018.
“I’ve got some big shoes to fill for sure,” Jarrett said in a Mens Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) news release. “I’ve been around great coaches across a couple of different sports and Pete is right toward the top. He’s got the Xs and Os down as any coach should, but he also really cares for his players and coaching staff like they are his family.
“My only hope is to continue to build upon the foundation that Pete has set for us and become a perennial contender for the UMLC title and a familiar face at the MCLA national tournament.”
While at Wabash, Jarrett was a student-athlete, rhetoric major and biology minor, and a member of Phi Gamma Delta. He attached the College primarily to play basketball, but fell in love with the game of lacrosse his junior year.
He started his lacrosse career as a defenseman on the Wabash MCLA squad and finished as a captain on the Little Giants’ first-ever varsity squad under the direction of Terry Corcoran — one of the winningest coaches in NCAA Division III.
“I won’t be able to achieve any of these goals on my own,” Jarrett said in the news release.
IU will play in the East subdivision of the UMLC along with Miami (Ohio), Purdue University, Michigan State and Western Michigan.
Leo Priemer ’06, an Edward Jones financial advisor, was named a 2021 Forty Under 40 recipient.
The Michiana Forty Under 40 program spotlights 40 of the South Bend/Elkhart region’s most talented and dedicated young executives, leaders, employees, and adults who demonstrate career success and community engagement, all before the age of 40, according to a news release. More than 180 were submitted this year.
Priemer opened his Edward Jones office in 2008, just two years after graduating from Wabash College, where he studied political science and was a member of Phi Kappa Psi. Since then, he has built a thriving financial advisory practice, serving more than 330 clients in 28 states.
For the last five years Priemer’s office has ranked in the top 25% for customer service across all of Edward Jones.
“I’m grateful for this recognition, for my staff who work beside me each day, and the clients who thought to nominate me,” said Priemer, who holds designations as a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Asset Management Specialist.
“My office’s mission is centered on honest, caring, and goal-focused relationships with our clients,” he said. “The nomination alone tells me we are doing something right!”
In 2019, Priemer attended the Barron’s Top 100 Summit sponsored by Barron’s Magazine. This national conference is by-invitation-only and recognizes top financial advisors across all firms based on industry experience, compliance record, total revenue, and the amount of client assets entrusted to them.
Outside of work, Priemer is passionate about giving back to his community.
He is a 2011 graduate of Leadership South Bend Mishawaka, a member and president of the Studebaker National Museum Board of Trustees, a board member of the South Bend Rotary Club, and involved in the Michiana Estate Planning Council. In addition to raising money annually for the Alzheimer’s Association, Priemer’s office delivers Thanksgiving food baskets to those in need as part of a joint Rotary/St. Vincent DePaul Society initiative.
Michael Langford ’91 recently joined The Mediation Group LLC, an Indianapolis-based law firm, as a mediator and arbitrator.
Previously, Langford worked as a trial and appellate attorney. He litigated high stakes civil lawsuits throughout his 27-year career, and regularly tried jury trials nationwide and argued before state and federal appellate courts.
In his new role as a mediator and arbitrator, Langford will help parties achieve successful resolutions of their cases. He mediates all types of civil disputes including trucking, personal injury and wrongful death, products liability, insurance coverage, bad faith claims, employment law, class actions, real estate issues, and commercial and business disputes.
“I will start mediating in August,” Langford said in a LinkedIn post. “I’m looking forward to the new challenge.”
While at Wabash College, Langford was a member of Phi Delta Theta and studied English and speech. He graduated Order of the Barristers from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington.
Jeff Grabill ’91 will be joining the University of Leeds in England as its new Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education.
“I’m excited to join an institution so clearly leading in educational transformation,” said Grabill, who will be joining the school in August.
Grabill currently serves as Michigan State University’s Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, where he is a professor of rhetoric and professional writing. He is also responsible for facilitating innovation in learning via his role as Director of the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology. He has worked at the university since 2012.
While at Wabash, Grabill majored in English and was a member of Sigma Chi.
Fairwinds Counseling Center in Nantucket, Massachusetts, has recently named Jason Bridges ’98 as its new executive director. He joins the agency in this role in September.
“I echo what our community feels when I say how grateful I am that Fairwinds is here to serve the critical needs of Nantucket’s residents,” Bridges said in a report by The Inquirer and Mirror. “I am thrilled to do my part along with the dedicated Fairwinds team to build on such a rich legacy of service, and work collaboratively to deepen how this unique mission integrates into our island’s safety net.”
Bridges is the vice chair of the Nantucket Select Board, former owner of the Handlebar Café, and founder of Nantucket Bike Tours. For the past year, he has served as the interim executive director of the Maria Mitchell Association.
“After a national search which yielded numerous candidates, we found just who we were looking for right here on Nantucket,” said Ann Smith, Fairwinds search committee and board vice chair. “Jason’s experience, community engagement, and compassion made him rise to the top of the list of candidates.”
While at Wabash, Bridges majored in psychology and minored in chemistry. He was a member of Phi Kappa Psi, the basketball team and worked at the WNDY radio station.
Rob Love ’05 was recently named as Michigan City Area Schools’ new Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He assumed the role on May 3.
Love will lead the district’s efforts to sustain a culture of equity and inclusion for all students, according to a report by The Times of Northwest Indiana. Over the past two years, the school has been intently focused on these issues, working in partnership with the National Equity Project to build a framework for equitable access to opportunities that support the district’s strategic plan and mission.
Previously, Love served as the Founding Dean of Culture for Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis, Dean of Students for Carpe Diem Indiana Innovative Schools, and Director of School Services for the Indiana Charter School Network. He also was a Policy and Research Specialist for the Indiana Department of Education, where he served as Director of the Teacher Incentive Fund.
“We’re pleased to welcome Rob to our district,” MCAS Associate Superintendent Wendel McCollum said in a news release. “He will be closely examining data on student achievement, attendance, involvement, and discipline, helping us to identify and address gaps. He will also lead professional development and recruitment initiatives that will in turn benefit our students.”
Love has a bachelor degree in history, specializing in teacher education from Wabash College and a law degree from the Valparaiso University School of Law. While at Wabash, he was an independent, a member of the Student Senate, Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies, Young Democrats and the football and track teams.
Love said his work with Michigan City Area Schools will be guided by listening and collaboration, and he will be meeting with and surveying students, staff, families and the community.
“I want to ensure that all voices are heard, so we can truly equip our students for success and make sure everyone is comfortable in our spaces,” he said. “I’m excited about making MCAS my new home, and am excited to get started with this important work.”
Jacob Isaacs ’99 has been selected by the University of Minnesota at Crookston to serve as the new Director of Student Success and Academic Advising.
Issacs will be working with programs in student success, academic advising, tutoring, multicultural education, career services, and first-year experience.
He has worked as an education researcher, higher education administrator, and consultant throughout his career, previously serving as the Assistant Director of Student Life Residential Education Research and Communication at Purdue University. He worked at the university since 2014.
While at Wabash, Issacs was an independent who majored in speech and minored in history with specializations in business. He was a member of the Student Senate, The Bachelor newspaper and worked at the WNDY radio station.
Along with his family, Issacs will be transitioning to the Crookston, Minnesota area in mid-summer 2021.
Robert ’78 and Melody Grand were recently presented with the IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award.
The Grands were recognized for having loyally supported the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law and demonstrating the value of giving back to one’s alma mater.
Bob is a member of the law school’s Board of Visitors, according to a news release. The couple’s recent gifts have focused on an endowed chair and a memorial scholarship, created to recognize the excellence of the faculty and to help students who face financial challenges.
Bob graduated from Wabash College in 1978, where he majored in economics and was a member of Beta Theta Pi. He graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 1978 with a degree in biological sciences and from IU McKinney Law in 1982.
Bob is the firm managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg and concentrates his practice in the areas of public finance and governmental regulation.
Scott Campbell ’14 has joined Ambassador Enterprises as Corporate Counsel. Based in Fort Wayne, Ambassador Enterprises is a private equity firm engaging with leaders and organizations committed to creating lasting, positive impact on people and communities.
“I’m excited to add Scott to our team,” Chief Legal Officer Jeremy Gayed said in a news release. “I’m confident that Scott’s unique combination of talent and humility will be a valuable addition to AE’s culture of care, performance, and responsible capitalism.”
Campbell comes to Ambassador Enterprises from the law firm of Barrett McNagny, LLP, where he served as an Associate in their Business Practice Group. He was most recently honored as a 2021 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch.
“Ambassador Enterprises’ commitment to generating financial, cultural, and eternal returns in every investment truly makes it a special and rewarding place to grow as an individual and team member,” Campbell said. “I look forward to leveraging my experience to create effective transition plans for businesses and owners interested in sustaining their legacy, as well as partnering with other AE leaders focused on community impact, philanthropic partnering, and civic engagement.”
Campbell graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School and received his undergraduate degree from Wabash College. At Wabash, he double majored in economics and Classics and was a member of Beta Theta Pi, Student Senate, Pre-Law Society, Interfraternity Council, and the Bachelor.
Kurt Snyder ’89, executive director of the Stanford Center for Continuing Medical Education, received the 2019-2020 Stanford University School of Medicine Inspiring Change Leadership Award.
The award is given to a staff employee who has outstanding performance and have initiated or led change and innovation: implementing new processes, systems, organizational structures, or operating paradigms which will result in transformative improvements in service, efficiency, value, effectiveness, outcome, or satisfaction. The winner receives a $3,000 check.
As the executive director, Snyder advances patient outcomes via physician education on behalf of Stanford Medicine. He’s held this role since 2018.
“We appreciate all you do for our team, Stanford University and the community,” the Stanford CME Team said in a LinkedIn post. “We are lucky to have you!”
Prior to working at Standford University, Snyder worked as the Director of Continuing Medical Education at Indiana University School of Medicine and was an adjunct professor at Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
At Wabash, Snyder majored in history and minored in political science. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta, Sphinx Club and the cross-country team.
Steven Pfanstiel ’95 was recently hired as the Chief Financial Officer for Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative therapeutics to treat rare seizure disorders.
“Marinus is committed to making a significant difference in the lives of people touched by rare pediatric and refractory epilepsy,” Pfanstiel said in a news release. “The science is strong, and I am pleased to bring a strong financial discipline and foundation to support the company in its continued development activities and as it plans for commercialization of ganaxolone.”
Pfanstiel has a long track record in life sciences and pharmaceuticals, supporting the financial side of R&D, supply chain, and global commercialization organizations.
Before joining Marinus, Pfanstiel worked for 16 years in various divisions and operating companies of Johnson & Johnson.
He was most recently the Vice President of Finance for LifeScan of Malvern, a world leader in blood glucose monitoring known for its OneTouch brand products for managing diabetes, according to a news release. At LifeScan, he was responsible for a finance team of over 40 and drove significant cost savings while optimizing investment in sales and marketing.
Dr. Scott Braunstein, Chief Executive Officer of Marinus Pharmaceuticals, said Pfanstiel is a “stellar leader” who will be instrumental in positioning the company for its next phase of growth.
“(Pfanstiel) brings skills and seasoned expertise that will prove invaluable as we build our organization and prepare for potential commercial launch,” Braunstein said in a news release.
Pfanstiel majored in physics at Wabash College and was a member of Delta Tau Delta. He holds a M.S. in environmental systems engineering from Clemson University and an M.B.A. in finance from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis.
Alonzo Weems ’92 was recently named as Eli Lilly and Company’s new senior vice president and chief ethics and compliance officer.
Weems joined Lilly in 1997 and currently serves as its vice president and deputy general counsel. He will assume his new role in June 2021.
He has held roles of increasing responsibility at Lilly, according to a news release, including general counsel of Lilly Canada, general counsel for Lilly USA and general counsel for the global Bio-Medicines and Diabetes business units, which included responsibilities for legal teams in Australia, Canada, China, Europe and Japan.
In his current role, Weems is responsible for the corporate legal functions which includes commercial transactions, litigation, regulatory, and human resources.
“Alonzo’s legal roles, including extensive experience directly supporting our commercial efforts, make him the right leader to advance our strong compliance culture and lead our global risk management effort,” David A. Ricks, Lilly chairman and CEO said in a news release.
“I along with our executive team look forward to collaborating closely with … Alonzo as we work to overcome many of the world’s most pressing unmet medical needs.”
Weems earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Wabash College. He was an independent, and a member of the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies and Glee Club.
After serving 11 years as an elementary school principal, Mark Grossenbacher ’97 was recently named the new Woodland Middle School principal in North Port, Florida.
“I cannot explain how proud I am of our staff, community, and children for everything we have accomplished together,” Grossenbacher wrote in a statement, which was published in a report by the Englewood Sun. “I am also humbled and honored to be chosen to lead Woodland Middle School. It is such a great school with wonderful teachers & staff members, with the profound potential to do many wonderful things for the North Port community.”
Grossenbacher, who will continue to serve as the Englewood Elementary School principal until the end of the school year, was called “an exceptional school leader with a passion for excellence and an unwavering belief in every student,” by Chris Renouf, executive director of Elementary Schools.
“He is a community connector with a commitment to building and fostering strong relationships with all stakeholders in an effort to help every student exceed the highest of expectations and achieve individual success,” Renouf said.
“Mr. Grossenbacher has made a tremendous impact at Englewood Elementary and will be dearly missed; however, we are excited to see him start a new chapter within the school district family.”
Grossenbacher majored in English and minored in religion at Wabash College. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi, involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and competed on the football and track teams.
Crawfordsville attorney Rob Reimondo ’93 has been named a 2021 Indiana Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters in the area of alternative dispute resolution (mediation).
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers in more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, the Journal Review reports. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.
Reimondo, a partner in the law firm of Capper Tulley & Reimondo, majored in political science and was a member of Phi Delta Theta while at Wabash College. He graduated in 1997 from Indiana University Law School at Indianapolis.
He has been a registered civil and family law mediator since 2010, and serves annually as a faculty panelist for Indiana Continuing Legal Education.
Brian Poole ’88 was recently promoted to director and chief actuary at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.
Poole joined Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance in 2017 as the actuarial data manager in the product management solutions department.
With 32 years of experience in insurance, Poole has also served in various leadership roles at other companies and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS), as well as a member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MCAA).
Poole grew up in Evansville and earned his bachelor’s degree from Wabash College, where he studied mathematics and was a member of Kappa Sigma.
Dr. Nicholas Nussbaum ’01 of Adams Medical Group, a division of Adams Memorial Hospital in Decatur, was recently promoted to director of medical affairs for community services.
His new responsibilities include physician and advanced practice provider leadership and coordination at all Adams Medical Group outpatient locations. As a physician leader, he will be responsible for the alignment of provider teams to the Adams Health Network mission and vision.
To achieve this goal, Nussbaum will facilitate provider success through an emphasis on quality of care, patient experience, and patient access to care.
Nussbaum is a life-long Adams County resident, returning to the area in 2008 as an employed physician for Adams Memorial in Monroe. Following significant growth at the Monroe office, he became medical director of the Monroe location with its transition to a federally qualified Rural Health Clinic. With further growth in Adams Medical Group, he became the Medical Director of Rural Health and Primary Care in 2018.
“His new role as director of medical affairs for community services is an expansion of his prior primary care role to include outpatient specialty providers and clinics,” Adams Memorial Hospital officials wrote in a Facebook post.
Nussbaum is Board Certified in Family Medicine and is a 1997 graduate of South Adams High School. He completed his undergraduate degree from Wabash College, where he studied religion and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. He then graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2005.
He completed his Family Medicine Residency in 2008 at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.
Marty Brown’s ’06 first children’s book “ABCs in Indianapolis” is now available for pre-order through Kickstarter until March 1.
“ABCs in Indianapolis” is written and illustrated based on a lifetime spent in Indianapolis, said Brown, vice president of strategy and operations at LDI, Ltd.
The idea behind the book came after Brown realized much of what his two and four-year-old daughters read in books “take them to outer space, tropical jungles, and into the far-off worlds of their favorite characters” but not to where the family lives, plays and explores.
The book, illustrated by Jingo de la Rosa, is designed to be representative of the whole city, and each letter of the alphabet will highlight landmarks in and around downtown, parks, events and other sites throughout the city.
“I wanted books that inspired my daughters to explore and take pride in their hometown,” said Brown, who studied English at Wabash College.
“I wanted to bring to life the people, history and neighborhoods that make Indianapolis special. Many nights, we sing, ‘The wheels on the bus go round and round … all through Indianapolis.’ Now I am proud to create and share books that make my daughters more curious about Indianapolis. We hope you like these books, too.”
The Chillicothe Paints, a collegiate summer baseball team based in Chillicothe, Ohio, has recently hired John Penn ’14 as its new field manager.
“I’m just very thankful and humbled for the doors that have opened up for me to be able to take this role,” Penn said in a news release. “I’m looking forward to a great season. The Paints are a team with high standards and, technically speaking, are the defending champs.”
Penn is currently an assistant coach at Bryant & Stratton Community College in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Prior to joining the staff at Bryan & Stratton, Penn spent two seasons with NCAA DI Old Dominion working with catchers and hitters, two seasons with Iowa Western Community College and two seasons in coaching at NCAA DIII Bluffton University, serving as a graduate assistant.
Penn graduated from Wabash College with a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric. He was a relief pitcher and a member of the 2011 team that won the North Coast Athletic Conference at VA Memorial Stadium.
“I’ve celebrated high school district championships at VA Memorial Stadium and celebrated Wabash’s first NCAC Championship in school history on that field,” Penn said. “I have a ton of memories stretching back to being a little kid going to Paints (youth baseball) camps. It’s all a little surreal that I’m going to be at the helm of a team in a town I grew up in.”
The Paints have made the playoffs eight times and won two championships in 11 seasons since joining the Prospect League as a charter member in 2009. The team will open the 2021 season against the Lafayette Aviators on May 27 at VA Memorial Stadium.
Jake Gilbert ’98 was recently highlighted as one of the best high school head coaches in the nation and was chosen as the midwest region’s winner of the American Football Coaches Association’s Power of Influence Award.
Gilbert is the Dean of Wellness, Connections and Growth, department head for physical education and best known as the varsity football coach who led Westfield High School to an IHSAA state championship in 2016.
He joined the staff 10 years ago, and previously taught U.S. government and leadership classes at the school.
Coaches who receive the Power of Influence Award are recognized for their impact on their team, as well as the legacy they leave with the school and surrounding community, according to a news release. This award is not based on wins and losses; however, it should be noted that coaches of powerful influence have longevity and success.
“This makes him one of five finalists in the entire country for the national award,” Westfield High School officials wrote in a Facebook post. “This award is the highest honor given to a high school coach. Congratulations, Jake!!”
In addition to coaching and teaching, Gilbert has been a Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor since 2012 and created a Freshman Mentor Program and Life Ready Initiative at Westfield. He’s also hosted Special Olympic football clinics, raised money to tackle childhood cancer, led a mission trip to Haiti and helps support the Indiana Blood Center.
Gilbert and other winners were honored during a virtual AFCA Convention in January.
During his time at Wabash College, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta and graduated cum laude with a major in history, Gilbert was an all-conference and honorable mention All-American defensive lineman. He served as an assistant coach for Wabash’s football team from 2006 until 2011.
McTeague Higbee — a law firm dedicated to advocating and protecting the rights of Maine’s working people — recently announced that Matt Marett ’05 has joined its team.
“We at McTeague Higbee are thrilled to welcome Matt to our team,” managing partner Kevin Noonan said in a news release. “All of us have had the opportunity to work with Matt over several years. Matt is a tough advocate and will be able to quickly roll up his sleeves and help fight for the rights of our clients.”
Marett has more than nine years of experience handling a variety of different legal matters, and is a litigator well versed in the complexity of the Workers’ Compensation process.
He will work in McTeague Higbee’s Workers’ Compensation division and handle complicated bodily injury claims.
While at Wabash, Marett was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha, the Pre-Law Society, The Bachelor, Young Democrats, Alpha Phi Omega and Wabash Crew. He majored in psychology and minored in English and speech.
Marett earned his law degree from the Florida Coastal School of Law in 2010, graduating with cum laude honors in the top 5% of his class.
Michael E. Schrage, Chairman and CEO of Centier Bank, recently announced the appointment of Clay Koehler ‘08 to assistant vice president of Small Business Banking in the Lafayette area.
Koehler started at Centier in October 2020. He is a seasoned financial advisor, with experience working several years in small business/private banking.
“I am passionate about helping small businesses in the Greater Lafayette area and bringing excitement to the team,” Koehler said in a news release. “It’s important to me that clients receive the best financial tools they need to be successful, and I’m committed to providing them with what they need.”
While at Wabash, Koehler majored in political science and minored in history. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from Purdue University.
Houston Mills ’85, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Vice President of Flight Operations for UPS, will be featured in a special exhibit in Louisville in honor of Black History Month.
Bowman Field, Louisville’s general aviation airport and one of the nation’s longest continuously operating airports, will host the exhibit, “The Sky’s the Limit: A Celebration of the History of Black Achievement in Aviation,” until Feb. 28.
The attraction will showcase specific members of the Black aviation community, along with their achievements, according a news release from the Regional Airport Authority. It will highlight how these men and women got their start in aviation, adversities they experienced, and the ways they overcame those obstacles to rise to greatness.
“The Louisville Regional Airport Authority is excited to open this exhibit celebrating Black History Month,” said Dan Mann, executive director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “It showcases the extraordinary achievements of these Black men and women from the early days of aviation through the age of space travel, including efforts today to introduce our young people to the opportunities in aviation. We hope the stories of these pioneers and leaders inspire a new generation of aviation professionals.”
Mills, a former board chair of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, told WDRB.com that the exhibit is well-timed.
“Our community has just experienced difficult reminders about social justice and equity, so this year’s Black History Month is particularly important,” Mills said. “It’s fantastic that the LRAA is showcasing these inspirational aviation heroes and the great things that happen when opportunities are available for people of all races.”
Over the last year, Mills has been making headlines for his aviation work.
In December, he piloted the first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. From there, the vaccines were distributed to all parts of the country, with frontline health care workers expected to be among the first group this week to receive doses.
“I was very humbled and honored to have been selected to be the pilot of this first flight,” said Mills, who co-piloted a Boeing 757 airliner with Neal Newell, a former U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot. “What this flight represents is the beginning of the end. This historic moment is about hope.”
Over the Super Bowl weekend, Mills was also featured in a short story CBS Sports ran recognizing contributions by essential service workers during the pandemic.
As a first-generation college student from Indianapolis, Mills was an English literature major and political science minor, pursuing a pre-law degree at Wabash College. He was recruited to the College to play basketball by longtime coach Mac Petty H’82.
During his time at Wabash, Mills also joined Lambda Chi Alpha, Sphinx Club, and was actively involved with the Malcolm X Institute.
Clayton Highum ’16, was recently hired as the commercial account executive for McGowan Insurance Group located in Indianapolis.
Highum previously served in commercial underwriting and production at FCCI Insurance Group.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wabash College, where he majored in rhetoric and minored in economics. As a student, Highum was a member of the varsity swimming and diving team, Business Sequence, 1832 Society and Student Senate, among other activities and societies.
Extensia Financial, a credit union service organization focused on commercial real estate, recently announced that Steve Coomes ’79 will be one of four new leaders joining its Board of Directors.
Coomes is a retired financial services and operational leader with more than 30 years of financial institutions experience, most notably in the credit union environment.
“Extensia Financial is excited about the collective talent these industry leaders will add to our company’s Board of Directors,” Sundip Patel, Chief Executive Officer, said in a news release. “Their combined expertise in corporate strategy, credit union operations and growth, and financial institutions leadership will be of great value as AVANA Companies and Extensia navigate a planned trajectory of significant growth.”
Coomes was the president and CEO of United SA Federal Credit Union in San Antonio, Texas, and retired in 2014.
He has a master’s degree in finance from Butler University and a bachelor’s degree from Wabash College, where he majored in biology and was a member of Alpha Phi Omega. He also holds the Certified Chief Executive Designation from the Credit Union Executives Society of Madison, Wisconsin.
Jacob Burnett ’15, a Wabash Rhodes Scholar and political science major, has been selected to serve as an Executive Editor for Volume 170 of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review – the oldest and one of the most cited law journals in the country.
“If I had to capture what it is like to work with The University of Pennsylvania Law Review in one word, it would be: exciting,” Burnett said. “The Journal publishes some of the most groundbreaking legal scholarship that scholars, practitioners, and students are producing.”
Burnett, who is currently attending the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and works as a research and teaching assistant, previously served as an Associate Editor for The Journal and was selected to serve in the new role after submitting a written application to the outgoing board.
“I applied for the position specifically because I enjoy working directly on Law Review pieces, and as an Executive Editor, I believed I would thrive when working directly with authors and incoming Associate Editors,” he said. “The substantive scholarship is fundamental to the success of the Journal, and I hope to play a key role in ensuring that the Law Review publishes well-edited, thoughtful, and excellent pieces.”
Burnett, a native of Mishawaka, Indiana, was active at Wabash College through Moot Court, Student Senate, The Bachelor, Wabash College Democrats and Pre-Law Society, among other activities and organizations. He was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Psi Chi and Lambda Pi Eta honor societies.
In 2014, Burnett was one of 32 students in the nation to be named a Rhodes Scholar.
He graduated from the University of Oxford with a master’s degree in global governance and diplomacy and criminology and criminal justice.
“Growing up in poverty and watching my mom do God’s work to lead my family through class oppression has always inspired me to work hard and keep moving forward,” Burnett said. “My journey is one that could not have happened without her, who I look to for strength and tenacity.”
The alumnus said he’s thankful for the Wabash professors he had who were integral to his success.
“Specifically, Professor Scott Himsel and Dr. Robert Horton wrote me letters of recommendation for my law school application process,” Burnett said. “They have always been great mentors to me and have guided me along my journey.
“Without Wabash, I don’t know if I would be where I am today! It taught me how to be excellent at what I do and to have fun along the way with amazing colleagues and friends.”
Francisco Huerta ’14, a ninth-grade world history and reading teacher within the Noble Network of Charter Schools, was recently selected as one of 14 new educators to join into its Distinguished Teacher program.
The Noble Network of Charter Schools includes 18 nonprofit charter public schools that prepare roughly 12,000 students for college success each year with excellent teaching, rigorous academics, and comprehensive wraparound supports.
“This is the highest honor that an educator can receive within our network,” Huerta, an Eli Lilly Scholar who majored in psychology and minored in religion and economics, told Wabash Magazine.
The Distinguished Teacher program provides an industry-changing approach to celebrating and rewarding teachers who are achieving an exceptional impact with students, according to a news release. Among other benefits, each winner receives $10,000 annually for as long as they remain teachers at Noble.
“We launched the Distinguished Teacher program in 2018 following years of prior research on how to best identify, celebrate, reward, and learn from Noble’s most impactful educators,” Constance Jones, CEO of Noble, said in the release. “This year, we’re delighted to announce 14 truly outstanding teachers who both cultivate and lead transformational classroom spaces that empower our students to live exemplary lives.”
Distinguished Teachers applied for the program by submitting written narratives and a portfolio of artifacts including comprehensive data. Finalists then participated in classroom observations and debriefs, student surveys, a panel interview, and reference checks over the course of several months.
“The final round was an hour-long panel interview akin to the Wabash Senior Comprehensive Exam,” Huerta said. “It was an incredibly stressful process.”
Roy Sexton ’95 has been appointed as treasurer of the 2021 Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Board of Directors. LMA represents thousands of legal marketing and business development professionals in 48 U.S. states and 24 countries.
“Being on the LMA Board of Directors is the apex of one’s volunteer leadership within the Legal Marketing Association and is significant in advancing the legal marketing profession as a whole,” LMA Executive Director Danielle Holland said in a news release.
Sexton, director of marketing at Clark Hill Law, has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, business development and strategic planning.
He has been heavily involved in the LMA as a regional and international leader and serves on numerous nonprofit boards and committees including the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor, Royal Starr Film Festival, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and encoremichigan.com.
“I am honored to serve on the 2021 LMA Board of Directors, and I look forward to the opportunity to help guide the association’s important work,” Sexton said in the release. “LMA will continue to provide outstanding programming and opportunities for professional development and networking to our members and advocate for our profession, locally, regionally and internationally.”
While at Wabash College, Sexton majored in English and theater and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and involved with the Wabash Theater, the Bachelor and Student Senate.
Sexton’s LMA appointment became effective January 1, 2021.
Mike Raters ’85, Wabash’s former Dean of Students and history major, was recently named Mt. Vernon Middle School’s new interim principal.
Raters starts his contract on Jan. 19 and will serve in the role for the remainder of the school year.
Jack Parker, Mt. Vernon superintendent, told the Greenfield Daily Reporter that he chose Raters as interim principal because of his collaborative leadership approach and track record of building success in organizations he serves.
“He empowers his team to succeed individually, which furthers the sense of community and collective success,” Parker said. “We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact Mr. Raters will have with Mt. Vernon Middle School staff and students.”
Raters leads student affairs and athletics as an associate vice president at Scott Healy & Associates, which recruits for university leadership positions. He’s also a partner and director of education and government projects for Bridge Builder Strategies, LLC.
He previously taught leadership as an adjunct professor at Butler University and was also the dean of students at Wabash College from 2008 to 2019. Before that, he taught at Franklin Central High School and Scecina Memorial High School in Indianapolis.
“I am fortunate to be joining a community of educators and staff that are exceptionally dedicated and, most importantly, student-centered,” Raters told the newspaper. “I am eager to work with them to learn how I can be supportive of their efforts, help advance their teaching and further the leadership of the student body.”
Last semester, Wabash’s Advancement Office received an unexpected letter from a woman in Hamilton, Montana. It was addressed to “whomever can help” and contained photos of a 1970 class ring.
“I have a class ring from your College, ‘Class of 70,’” the note from Delores Meuchel stated. “The initials G.A.J. are engraved on the inside … I would like to return it to the owner.”
Aaron Selby ’06, director of annual giving and advancement services, got to work and began tracking down the ring’s owner. He examined the attached photos and noticed Delta Tau Delta’s letters featured. From there, Selby used the Wabash Alumni Directory to look up members of the Class of 1970 who had those initials and were brothers of the fraternity.
“This search quickly identified one person and I reached out to Gregory A. Jackson of Helena, Montana, to see if this was his ring,” Selby recalled. “After talking with Greg by phone, he informed me that he believed this was his class ring and was amazed.”
Jackson’s ring had been missing for 28 years.
“Anytime I would open a box or go through things again, I would look to see if I might somehow find it, but it never surfaced,” Jackson said of the ring, which went missing after a separation and move. “It has a special meaning to me and I was heartbroken when it disappeared.
“Over the years I always held out the hope that maybe it would show up.”
And it’s a good thing Jackson never lost that hope.
Selby put Jackson in contact with Meuchel, who lived about 150 miles away.
Meuchel told Jackson that she had purchased a “box of junk” from a garage sale in Elliston, Montana, about 20 miles from Helena. The box was full of aluminum cans, pull tabs and a ring.
“She was mildly intrigued and put it in a jewelry box where it sat for a couple of years,” Jackson said. “She was going through the jewelry box fairly recently and thought maybe she could see who the ring belonged to.”
The ring was eventually mailed and returned back to Jackson around Thanksgiving.
“It’s crazy to think that my ring made a journey around the state of Montana and back to me after all this time,” the Wabash alumnus said.
Jackson, who works as an attorney, said he’s thankful for Meuchel taking the time to track him down and for the College officials who helped facilitate the reunion.
“Graduating from Wabash is a big deal,” Jackson said. “To have that piece of my life back is just absolutely phenomenal. I can’t express enough appreciation.”