Big Bash is just around the corner, and we hope you can join us for our Psychology Department Reception for alumni, which will be held during Big Bash, on Saturday, June 4th, from 2:30-4pm in Baxter Hall, room 312. If you will be back on campus for a reunion or just to catch up with fellow alums, faculty and staff, we hope that you will be able to drop in!

And, we are hoping to post updates from alumni who have reunions this year (5, 10, 15 years, etc.). Even if you will not be back for Big Bash, send us a short update on where life has taken you since Wabash, and we will post it below (photos are welcome, but not necessary!).  Updates can be directed to Dr. Neil Schmitzer-Torbert:

Class of 1962 – 60 year reunion

Duncan Thomas – I had picked Psychology (Poli Sci minor) as one would pick up a good book on a long winter’s night – I was just interested in human behavior, especially voting behavior and political decision-making. It certainly helped me with understanding people which, of course, stood me in good stead in the sales and marketing activities in which I engaged during my working life. After graduation, I attended the American Institute for Foreign Trade in Phoenix, AZ. Now I believe it’s called the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Business. That launched me on an international business career during which I spent over 20 years living and working in Latin America. I worked for the Dana Corporation, a manufacturer of engine and drive train components then later a medical products company. Between active employment and as an independent consultant, my career spanned 58 years. Now I’m in the grandkids mode and loving it.

Class of 1972 – 50 year reunion

Steve Brammell – I was a psychology major at Wabash during the period from 1968 through 1972. Spelt, Lawrie, Bankhart, and Lovell were my professors. I also took many other courses in various disciplines, especially English. After graduation I decided to take a year or two before applying to grad school, which would have been in Clinical Psychology, I suppose. I moved back to my hometown of Michigan City and got a fantastic job, especially for a newbie, as a social worker/daily living skills coordinator at a facility where various clients with mental and physical disabilities were paid to do ‘piece-work’ provided by local industries. My salary was very good, and they most likely would have paid for any further education. After a year I bought an open ended ‘student’ ticket to Europe and began my odyssey. I traveled for over a year, including a stint on an Israeli kibbutz right after the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and also a strange journey through Morocco and the Sahara. Upon my return, when I finally ran out of money, I moved to Austin, Texas where I was a psych tech in a “State Mental Hospital” which I left after I was required to, along with the other male staff, corral a large male patient who was acting out and refusing to take his meds. I am a big guy and had to help hold him down while he received ECT (electro shock therapy ala One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest). I quit the next day and began working for the U. of Texas library system. I am a writer and during my Austin stint I was a member of the Austin Poets Theater, giving public performances (slams these days), and publishing my poems in local literary journals. I then moved to Yellow Springs, Ohio, where I worked as a patient services coordinator for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and also the Green Country Transit providing government funded country wide transport for county citizens. I then moved to Birmingham, Alabama and began my career as a freelance writer, doing technical/medical writing for companies and institutions — a high paying endeavor I might add. I also wrote for magazines and newspapers, which does not pay well but boosts the ego. After 12 years I moved back to Michigan City to help my father after my mother died and had a major career change, getting into the restaurant business then helping a chef friend open her first fine dining restaurant where I was the manager and wine director. I loved working in the culinary world which led to many unexpected experiences and pleasures. I have been in the wine trade for the past 11 years, selling wine for a top end wine store in Indianapolis, where I now live with my wife. I just published my first book of short stories, Red Mountain Cut, by Finishing Line Press (which is available in the Wabash College Bookstore) and will have another book coming out later this year. I am nearly finished with a long work of historical fiction centered in the Lake Michigan region. I am looking forward to the Bash. I hope I get to stop in and say hello.

Gordon Goodwin ’72 – Van Gogh Yoursef at the Lume exhibit at Newfields in Indianapolis

Gordon Goodwin – I’ve been retired since 2014.  My wife and I moved back to Indianapolis (or Carmel these days) from the Fort Lee, Virginia area in 2015 to our old farmhouse near 96th and Keystone (!)  My career with the Army had its ups and downs, but I went for the joy that was in it, and I think the 30+ years was about right.  (I started with the Army at White Sands Missile Range, NM in 1983…..following completion of a Ph.D. at IU).  My wife, a retired special education teacher, keeps me very busy in the extensive gardens on our 2 acres.  Retirement works fairly well for me.  Hobbies include swimming and working out on a regular basis.  I like fishing; pre-Wabash my dad took me fishing over on Sugar Creek.  These days, I go infrequently, but I’m trying to introduce the sport to my grandson….well, step-grandson.

Class of 1977 – 45 year reunion

Daniel R. Rizzardini MBA, MSCP, LCPC – I graduated from Wabash in 1977, and spent 40 years as a capitalist working in the world of “Big Biz.”  Late in life my profligate profiteering ways changed to those of a humble humanist. I returned to school to earn a masters in clinical psychology.  Now, I practice therapy for couples, families, and adult males in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  I find the work to be exhilarating and most satisfying.  I use my Wabash education every day to assist my patients with the unique and varied challenges they experience.  I must confess that my late 70’s psychology education was steeped in behaviorism.  Whereas behaviorism is much utilized today, it is a small part of the therapeutic toolkit I need to bring to the couch. I am grateful to my professors Dr. Lovell, Drs. Bankhart, Dr. Spelt, et. al. for planting the seeds of healing which took several decades to blossom.

Ray with grandson, Liam, on his birthday

Raymond (Ray) Swisher is the Deputy Group Director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.  He retired from the U.S. Navy as a Captain, Medical Service Corps, and as the Executive Officer, Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, IL.  He has been on faculty at Rush University, where he has taught several courses to Masters degree students in the Health Systems Management Department.  Ray has been in faithful service to ACHE, serving as ACHE Regent for Metropolitan Chicago, 2 tenures as the elected President of the Chicago Health Executives Forum, and as the Chair on several ACHE committees.  He is equally active in the larger community, where he is a USO volunteer at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and on the Board of Advisors to “The Boulevard”, a Chicago-based housing organization providing alternative lodging and meals to the homeless following hospital discharge.

Class of 1987 – 35 year reunion

Ken Ogorek ’87

Ken Ogorek – I currently work for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, in the field of religious education.  My work involves a combination of theology, educational psychology and administration.  The psych major I experienced at Wabash has certainly been helpful over the years—and still is.  I feel very blessed to have spent over 25 years working in a field allowing me to put an excellent liberal arts education—and my faith—to a use that’s helpful to many folks.  Having tried a few types of jobs in my 20s, earning an M.A. during those years as well, I happily inhabit a niche where I imagine I’ll stay until retirement in a few years, God willing.

Class of 2012 – 10 year reunion

Olufemi Oluyedun ’12

Olufemi A. Oluyedun – After graduating from Wabash in 2012, I attended Michigan State University where I completed my Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Sport and Exercise Psychology. While in graduate school I assisted with an NIH-funded project examining physical activity as a means of reducing symptoms of ADHD in young children, while also teaching a full course load. This prepared me well for my current role as an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Hope College (tenure-track), a small liberal arts institution located in Holland, Michigan. I teach a range of courses which include: Sport and Exercise Psychology, Motor Development, Research Methods, Human Metabolism, Adaptive Physical Activity, Writing in Exercise Science, Health Dynamics, and Special Topics: Research. Related to scholarship, my primary research interests are in the areas of youth development, peer relationships, self-perceptions, and motivation. Specifically, I study how peer relationships play a role in an athlete’s commitment to sport. On a personal note, my fiancé Cassandra and I will be getting married in October (2022), and we recently purchased a home in the East Grand Rapids area.

Class of 2017 – 5 year reunion

Zack King – After Wabash, I completed the two year Orr Fellowship based out of Indianapolis. I worked for a company that created personality assessments. After the fellowship I joined a smaller family-owned Industrial Solutions company named the Robert Dietrick Company where we specialize in loading dock and warehouse safety equipment. I have been there ever since and am a member of the sales team. In both of these opportunities since graduation, I often find myself drawing from the experience and education I was fortunate to gain from Wabash and our Psychology department. Whether it be thinking through Human Factors when finding solutions for our customers or using the scientific method to ensure our products meet and exceed expectations, the Psych department has equipped me with a skill set I am grateful for. Personally, my girlfriend Mallory and I just bought our first house in Broadripple and love living in Indianapolis with our Standard Poodle, Elliott.