Over the years, students from both our traditional and Public History programs have gone on to do a variety of creative and rewarding activities. These are just a few alumni from our graduate and undergraduate programs. Hopefully, these examples should help answer that age-old question: "What can I do with a History degree?" We welcome additional information and updates on our alumni!
John Aarsen, MA 1990 continues to work at the 82d Airborne Division War Memorial Museum as Director. He left for a yearlong deployment in 2010-2011 to Kuwait with duty Afghanistan. The US Army Center of Military History selected him be a member of a career development plan panel and establish the professional standards for Army museum historians and curators. He has completed by US Army War College Master of Strategic Studies in 2010 and was selected for Colonel and Brigade Command. At the 82d Airborne Division Museum we continue to work to support the 82d Airborne Division and its 22,000 paratroopers with history and exhibits support.
Brad Anderson, double major in History and Political Science, 1998, after graduation, spent two years as a quality assurance manager for a couple of local companies. He then went on a journey of graduate education with an MA in Political Science from Kansas, and then - due to a profound vocational shift - an MA in Theology and PhD in Religious Studies from Marquette University. He and his family moved back from Milwaukee this summer to be with relatives during the transitional stage of applications/professional discernment. He is now serving the Classical School of Wichita as Director of Accreditation Planning. His first book, Chosen Nation: Theopolitics, Scripture, and the Project of National Identity, is due out in Spring 2012 from Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf & Stock Publishers of Eugene, OR. “My time in the History Department at WSU was very positive and formative, especially time spent with Drs. Duram, Hundley, and Dreifort. I am still thankful for that experience and education, and I wish you all well.”
Paul Babich, BA, 1970, retired on June 15, 2009 after a 39 year career as a Social Studies teacher in Wichita Public Schools at Mayberry Junior High (1970-1988) and South High (1988-2000). He spent nine years as a full time release officer of the local teachers union, United Teachers of Wichita, where he served as vice president from 2000 to 2005 and president from 2005-2009. On July 1, 2009, Governor Mark Parkinson appointed him to a four year term on the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission. Recently, he served on the four person Historic Commission of the Wichita Catholic Diocese for the beatifiction and canonization of Rev. Emil Kapaun. He read hundreds of articles about Fr. Kapaun's life and his army career during the Korean War. He wrote four book reviews and a twenty-two page biography of Kapaun that were included in the information sent to the Vatican on July 1.
Monta (Howland) Ballard, BA 1968 is now retired from her career as a commercial property & casualty underwriter in excess and surplus lines insurance.
Barbara Jean Beale, BA, 1989, MA 1994, is currently an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), serving 2 parishes: Zion Lutheran Church of Arneckeville, near Cuero, Texas and St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Schroeder near Goliad, Texas. She also serves as the coordinator for Southwestern Texas Synod's Resource Center in Seguin, Texas. Life is good out in the country with the cows, deer, feral hogs and "chupacabras!”
Terry Benton, BA 1973 recently retired from Parker Hannifin Corporation as a Division Human Resources Manager after 31 years of service. He served as a First Class Petty Officer in the Navy from 1966 to 1973 with a tour in Vietnam in 1969. He received an MBA, Suma Cum Laude, from Dallas Baptist University in 1993, and served on the Board of Directors for the Texas Self-Insurance Association from 2006-2008. He resides in Fort Worth, TX.
Janet M. Berry MA, 2007, currently teaches Honors U.S. History and Psychology at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Wichita.
Devin Brogan, MA, 2006, is currently employed at INTRUST Bank, N.A. as a Retail Operations Support Specialist. Devin reviews and revises operating procedures for the Retail Banking Division.
Sara Ann Brown, BA 2008, graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2011. She is currently living in Austin, TX and clerking for the Honorable Harry Lee Hudspeth, United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Rev. Patrick Broz , BA. 1992; MA, 1996, finished his first year as the pastor of Kingman United Methodist Church in Kingman, KS. He is married to Rev. Abby Caseman, who is pastor at Cunningham and Penalosa United Methodist Churches in Kingman County, KS. Patrick recently completed a resource guide for churches to use to increase their worship attendance among younger families called Guest Quest. To date, more than one hundred churches have received either in-person or DVD-based training.
Lawrence P. Buck, BA, 1966, completed a Ph.D. in history at The Ohio State University in 1971 and is a Professor of History at Widener University, Chester, PA. His recent work involves studying the image of the Roman “monster” of 1496, called the Pope-Ass by Philip Melanchthon and Martin Luther. He presented "The Papal Antichrist Commonplace ca. 1520: Form and Content of an Apocalyptic Epithet" at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, October 2008, in St. Louis, MO. He also serves as a consultant for Mr. James Faber, rare book dealer in London, to help evaluate a newly-discovered Wunderzeichenbuch (or wonder book) that includes a painted illustration of the Roman monster.
McAndrew Burns, MA 1997, after serving as Executive Director of the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri, and later, the Ethan Allen Homestead & Museum in Burlington, Vermont, has served as the Executive Director of the Clatsop County Historical Society in Astoria, Oregon since 2003. The organization has undertaken an ambitious list of projects under his leadership. They opened the Oregon Film Museum last year to celebrate and interpret the 300+ iconic major motion pictures that have been filmed in the state of Oregon since 1908. Attendance has shattered all projections and a Phase II development is already underway. The historical society was also the lead organization in planning, orchestrating, and implementing an appropriate celebration to mark the Bicentennial of Astoria, the oldest U.S. settlement west of the Rockies. One of the highlights of the celebration was hosting Lord Astor of Hevar, John Jacob Astor VIII, a direct descendent of John Jacob Astor who founded the community.
Bruce Carruthers, MA, 2006, is pursuing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Kansas. A paper based on his thesis on the Populist Movement in Kansas was awarded second place in a graduate student competition at the Midwest Sociological Society meeting in April in Chicago. This summer he is a research assistant in the Heartland Project, a study of life in rural Kansas communities directed by Professor Robert Wuthnow, Chair of Sociology at Princeton University.
Richard Cooley, MA, 1989, is now full professor and one of the two assistant chairs for the History Department at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He is continuing on a longitudinal study on 28 of the grads who were either History majors with teaching certification or Social Studies majors. The Social Studies major is housed with the department as all Grand Valley State grads must have both a content major and minor before they enter the College of Education. He serves as secretary for, the Michigan Council for History Education. He is also on the board and serve as secretary for the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District.
Sadonia Corns, BA, 2008 is Financial Aid Counselor for the Office of Financial Aid at Wichita State. She is currently working towards a Masters in Public History with an emphasis in historic preservation. She contributor to Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley book and working on her first National Register Nomination.
Michael Dandurand, BA, 1971, is President of Dandurand Companies.
Christy Davis, MA, 1999, went on to work for the Kansas State Historical Society's historic preservation office and in 2006, founded her own consulting company, Davis Preservation. Since 2013, Davis has served as Executive Director of Symphony in the Flint Hills, Inc., whose mission is to enhance appreciation for the Flint Hills.
Cynthia DeCamp , BA, 1970, is still working as a Nurse Practitioner at a convenient care clinic in metro Atlanta and hopes this job will carry her to the point where she can join the ranks of the retired. She is an officer and board member for the Little Creek Farm Conservancy, where she boards her horse, Lacey. This group maintains one of the last working horse farms in suburban Atlanta.
Matthew Denner, BA, 2009, has been living in Northwest Arkansas working for Tyson Foods. He most recently got a promotion and started a new job in Marketing. Now that he is working normal hours, he would like to go back to his first plan when he moved down here and that is to start a NWA Shocker Pack down here and get to know some people that have a common ground. GO SHOX!!!!
Kathleen Epps Hankins, BA, 1967, is on the Vision Ministry (committee) at Hillside Christian Church, also participating in Visitation/Home Communion. She researches family history, and retains memberships in Alpha Chi Omega Sorority Alumnae, the Junior League Sustainers (inc. Wit & Wisdom), & the local Historic Preservation Alliance.
Neal Ferguson, BA 1965, MA, 1967, received a PhD in history from the University of Oregon, Eugene, 1971. Since 1970 he has been a faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno. After some time as Dean and Associate Vice President of the College of Extended Studies at the University of Nevada (1980-2004) he returned to the Department of History. Currently, he is Director of Core Humanities. He teaches courses in British History, World War II , and Core Humanities.
Don Fisk is the Vice President of a non-profit historical organization, The Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association. He volunteers at the fort twice per week and is working closely with the superintendent to create activities and publicity for the 150th anniversary. Of the opening of the. Bozeman a Trail, the creation of forts to guard it, the bloody conflicts with the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Northern Arapaho, and the closing of the trail and abandonment of the forts. He also helps the Northern Cheyenne raise funds for the monument being constructed in memory of their ancestors who were killed near Ft. Robinson, NE in 1879.
Galen Fountain, BA, 1977, after a short period of teaching in the Hutchinson, Kansas, public schools, went on to spend more that 30 years in the service of the U.S. Congress as staff and committee counsel, and nearly two-thirds of which I served as Clerk of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. He retired from the Senate early in 2012 and is now teaching at the University of Virginia.
Dan C. Fullerton, MA, 1998 went on to complete a PhD. in History from the University of Kansas, becoming an Assistant Professor for the US Army's School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at Fort Leavenworth, KS. For the last two years, he has worked as the Deputy Director of the Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship (AOASF), a war-college program for senior field grade officers transitioning them from tactical to strategic level leadership. He teaches courses in Strategic Decision Making, the History of Civil-Military Relations, Twenty-first Century Conflict, Regional Studies, and Strategic Leadership and have coordinated and led multiple fieldwork trips around the US and overseas to UK, Belgium, Germany, China, and Australia. He will be participating on a Society of Military History panel on Interwar/WWII US Army modernization in the spring of 2010.
Pat Glass, BA, 1967, is retired from the US Army after 25 years, including 5 years as an assistant professor teaching military history. After military retirement, Pat worked for a number of groups teaching computer software. Still Active in Boy Scouts (over 53 years now). Even though retired, he still works with his wife of 41 years, Jennifer, in real estate.
Steve Gragert, MA, 1976, has served as executive director of the Will Rogers Memorial Museums, Claremore and Oologah, Oklahoma, since 2006. He has edited and published nineteen volumes of the writings and papers of Rogers.
Angie Gumm, MA, 2006, has completed her Ph.D. at Iowa State University in May 2010 with a dissertation on the resource recovery of garbage, entitled "Waste, Energy, and the Crisis of Confidence: The American People and the History of Resource Recovery from 1965 to 2001." She is lecturing at Iowa State this year and serving as the institution's Phi Alpha Theta faculty advisor.
David Haight, MA, 1970, was an archivist at the Eisenhower Library from April 1, 1971 until August 1, 2008. Although now retired, he still serves at the Eisenhower Library as a volunteer working on security-classification matters and other tasks as needed. He recently wrote an article that has been accepted for publication in Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives entitled "Meeting the Threat: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Management of Overhead Intelligence Collection."
Barbara R. Hammond, MA, Anthropology and History, 2000, is currently employed as a Planning Analyst, Historic Preservation Office, City of Wichita. She researches and writes Wichita history in the form of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.
Dee Harris, MA, 1996, after graduation, went on to become director of the Smoky Hill Museum in Salina. She then became director of Visual Arts and Humanities for the Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, Missouri. She now in charge of exhibits at the National Archives' Kansas City branch.
Doug Harvey, MA, 2000, continues to teach history courses online and face to face in the Kansas City area. His first book was published by Pickering and Chatto in 2010, "The Theatre of Empire: Frontier Performance in North America, 1750-1860," volume 13 in their series, "Empires in Perspective." He is working on his second book, a biography of frontier revolutionary figure Herman Husband, as well as a collaboration with artist Michael Lee Heron to publish a graphic history of "The Whiskey Rebellion." He also continues to wear his musical hat, available to perform his program "Songs of Revolution" in schools, libraries, etc., and is recording a song cycle dedicated to the Great Plains. Most recently, he and his wife purchased a house in Kansas City and are "crossing over" to the Missouri side.
Steven Haynes, MA, 2003, now teaches at the Dodge City Community College. He recently defended his dissertation, “Alternative Vision: The United States, Latin America, and the League of Nations, during the Republican Ascendancy.”
Linda Hemmen, MA, American History 2003, MA, Speech Pathology 2007 worked for Rainbows United until November 2009 and has sinceI moved to Tyler, TX, where she works as a speech therapist in an outpatient pediatric clinic called East Texas Children's Therapy Services. She sees lots of Hispanic kids and uses her Spanish a lot! ("Thank you History department for requiring the language exam - this helped me to remember it").
Michelle (Martin) Hudson, BA, History 1979, MA Economics, along with her business partner, were recognized for their contributions to the Dallas Commercial Real Estate community, by D CEO Magazine. Full article at: http://www.dmagazine.com/Home/D_CEO/2012/March_April/Pioneer_Women_of_Commercial_Real_Estate.aspx
Benjamin Hruska, MA, 2004, completed a Ph.D. in public history in the spring of 2012 at Arizona State University. He is currently revising his dissertation into a monograph on the history of two aircraft carriers which served in World War II (USS Block Island, CVE-21 & CVE-106). After ASU, Hruska served as the Court Historian for the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. He curently teaches at Basis Charter school in Mesa. He has recently workied as a historical reporter for the award winning Block Island Times on Block Island, Rhode Island and writing a number of academic articles related to memory and the ocean.
Don Ingle, BA, 1964, went on to take classes in Philosophy and other fields before going into the insurance industry. He spent 38 years in Enid, Oklahoma as an independent insurance agent. His passion for history continues with recent activities involving documenting the Chisholm Trail and the Butterfield Trail.
Kerry Jones, BA History, 1993, MA History, 2002, BA Political Science, 2003, entered his seventh year of teaching U.S. History courses at Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC). Mr. Jones was awarded a gold medallion for teaching five or more years at NWACC by the president of the school. This last year, has been a busy one for Mr. Jones, as he wrapped up work on new class he will teach at NWACC called History By Hollywood. This was a course he created from scratch. Mr. Jones took his experiences in Political Science classes at WSU and created a similar class in history. The course, essentially, seeks to debunk myths attached to U.S. History. The course was approved by the department chair, the Curriculum Committee, and the Vice-President of Student Affairs. Mr. Jones also spent the last year working part-time for the National Park Service. Mr. Jones worked at Pea Ridge National Military Park (PERI) as a Park Guide. This job was very rewarding in that he could share with visitors a lifetime spent studying America's Civil War. Mr. Jones organized and then presented a wide variety of programs. Some of his programs included; Good Men All: The Common Soldier of the Civil War, Germans in the Civil War, The Irish in the Civil War, musket presentations, artillery demonstrations, campaign tours, caravan tours, Intrepid Commanders: The Minor Officers of the Battle of Pea Ridge, and Undaunted Courage: The Story of Benjamin McCulloch. Mr. Jones also gave a program for the Honors Program at NWACC. The title of the program was, Native Americans in the Civil War. Mr. Jones is currently working on a book for his college. The title of the book is Intrepid Commanders: The Minor Commanders of the Battle of Pea Ridge, March 7 and 8, 1862. Mr. Jones wishes to say that he enjoyed his time at WSU and especially the history courses he took from John Born. John was his favorite teacher.
Don Jordan, BA, 1974, the Henry Onsgard award winner in 1974, served as a cabinet officer for Kansas Governors Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson. Don was appointed Secretary of the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) in December 2006 and served until December, 2010. As Secretary, he oversaw the operation of one of the state’s largest agencies with an approximate budget of $1.6 billion and 6,000 employees. Prior to this Don served as Commissioner of the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority for 18 months. Don has over three decades of experience in the field of human services; he is the former Superintendent for Osawatomie State Hospital, Director of Operations for Children & Family Services, and Director of Operations for Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities. Don is a native of Wichita, Kansas he now resides in rural Miami County, Ks. He attended Wichita State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history (1974) and a master’s degree in political science (1989). After retiring for Kansas government in December, 2010, Don is now pursuing consulting opportunities and working on his golf game.
Sheldon Kamen, BA, 1973, remained with the family recycling business but also branched out into real estate. He became active in local politics, serving on the city board of education and Wichita City Council. He served as mayor of Wichita for a year.
Bob Keckeisen, BA, 1977, MA, 1982, was director of the Kansas Museum of History and a long-time community activist in Topeka. He retired June 28, 2013, after 31 years with the Kansas State Historical Society, the last 22 of them as director of the museum – the longest-serving person to hold that office. During Bob's tenure as director, the museum won several national awards of excellence for its exhibits, and in 2005, the museum achieved national accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums. Upon his retirement from state service, Bob accepted the position of Assistant General Manager for the Topeka Symphony Orchestra. He has served as principal percussionist for the TSO for the past 25 seasons. Bob continues to teach graduate courses in museum administration at The University of Kansas and Wichita State University.
Robert C. Key, BA, 1960, went on to receive a Master of Military Arts and Sciences, from the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College. He served for 21 years throughout the world as a signal officer, retiring in 1981. He then worked for Lockheed Martin Corporation for 23 years as manager for Advanced Development Programs where he designed and developed future naval weapons control technologies for unmanned air vehicles, surface and underwater vehicles. He retired from Lockheed Martin in 2004 and currently writes children's books. He has been married for 47 years to Dorothy (Smith) Key; also a student at Wichita State University for 2 years. They have three children and 3 grandchildren.
Tammy Zimmerman King, BA History, 2007, currently works at a financial investment firm in Wichita, KS. She recently wrote and published the biography, Blinded by His Shadow, about her grandfather's life in western Kansas and service in Europe during World War II. Her passion is to research and preserve family history so the stories of these great, yet normal Americans may never be forgotten.
Ben Koker, BA, graduated with an MLS from Emporia State University in 2005 after having completed a year abroad at Smolny Institute, St. Petersburg State University, Russia. He went into public libraries initially, working for the Wichita Public Library, but had hoped to transition to academic/research institutions eventually. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately in hindsight), after several years working within public libraries, he decided it wasn't a good fit, so in 2007, he took a risk and went to work as a technical support representative for a tax software company, CCH. He was quickly promoted within the team and within a year, received a job as a Software Training Consultant, that offered the opportunity to travel across the country installing software and training IT professionals how to use CCH products. He currently serves as an IT Systems Administrator for West Linn Paper Company in West Linn Oregon.
Kurt Konda, BA 2003, MA 2005 (Sociology) moved onto the graduate program in Sociology at Wichita State after completing his undergraduate degree in the History department and has worked in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and KUSM-Wichita since 2005, where he has been able to apply his knowledge and skills acquired at WSU to such diverse topics as assisting with the development of the Sedgwick County Pandemic Influenza Response plan, disaster preparedness, medical stigmatization, food deserts, diabetes, and rural health. Kurt is also an adjunct instructor who has taught classes in the KUSM-W MPH program as well as sociology classes at several area college and universities, including Friends, Southwestern, Hutchinson Community College, and Cowley County Community College.
Charlie Lawrence, MA, 2004, after completing his thesis on Century II, moved back to Seattle and continues to work for Boeing aircraft.
David Lawrence, MA, 1971, continued to work with Dr. Sowards as his doctoral adviser until he received his Ph.D. from KU in 1984. He taught history and literature at Wichita Collegiate School for fifteen years (1971-1986) and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1986 to accept a position in the history department of Lipscomb University, then David Lipscomb College. He began as associate professor and was later promoted to full professor with tenure. His retirement came in 2011. He has had the opportunity to sponsor study abroad programs for the last forty years, first for Collegiate and then for Lipscomb. He has his wife were sponsors, and he a teacher, in Lipscomb's semester in Vienna for four times, thus allowing us to live in that cultural city for over a year. Since retirement he has continued to travel extensively in Europe. In 2008, he published a biography of the reformer Martin Bucer, based on comments Dr. Sowards made in his class about Bucer's role in promoting unity. He continue to teach some classes for Life-Long Learning at Lipscomb, with one scheduled for this fall on the history of Christian architecture.
Tony Lubbers, MA, 1998, is currently serving as Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Friends University. He is married with two kids and three grandkids. He has also kept busy in his spare time as an Adjunct Faculty member at Butler Community College, Baker University, and Friends University. Most of his teaching is done on survey courses (U.S. History 1 and 2, Western Civ 1 and 2), but he has taught some interesting elective courses (History of the American Presidency, The Great Depression and World War Two, and The JFK Assassination among others). He is currently the President of the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (KASFAA).
Carl Lund, MA, 2010, has finished his first year as Assistant Professor of Education at McPherson College. He is pursuing his EdD in Educational Technology from Boise State University. He also began work as an online adjunct instructor for Allen County Community College, teaching courses in English and geography, and continues to serve as an adjunct instructor of English for Butler Community College.
Donna McCalla, BA, 1971, MA, 1973, has, after two years of planning and grant writing, produced Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town, a film depicting the abduction and seizure of Cesar and Lowis Peters and their eight children. The Peters were slaves of the infamous Tory, Reverend Samuel Peters. They were the first slaves formally emancipated by the official Connecticut General Assembly following the Revolutionary War, and the event is the first documented evidence of anti-slavery action in the state. The film will be shown on PBS later this year and then submitted to a number of film competitions. McCalla, still president of Hebron Historical Society, continues to do renovation projects on historical properties in Hebron, CT, where she resides. For more information, check out www.QuietTestimoniesTheFilm.org and there's a lot of Hebron history on www.HebronHistoricalSociety.org.
Marshal McKee, BA 1967, MEd 1973. Retired USAF 1987, middle school educator 2006 and Associate Professor of Education McKendree University 2013.
Gary Miskimon, BA, 1974 (actually - 63-68 & then again in 73-74 finishing w/a BA – History/Political Science) is the Director for the Administration and Parking Division for the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Jose. Last February, he received the “Pride of San Jose” award for “Excellence” from the Mayor and City Council for the performance of these functions. He wife, Jeanette, and he graduated this year from the 3-year Institute for Leadership in Ministry (operated by the Diocese of San Jose) and now serves in several Catholic social justice activities/organizations. They helped to found the Awaso Hope Foundation, an organization building a K-9 school in Awaso, Ghana. Check out our website at: http://awasohope.homestead.com, (and send a check?)
Ryan Keith Meyer, BA, 2007, graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 2010. Following law school, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable J. Thomas Marten of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas in Wichita (2010-2012). He currently practices law with the Wichita law firm of Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch, L.L.C.
Tim Myers, MA, 1988, outside of being the Lead Instructor for the Social Sciences Department at Butler Community College for the past several years and becoming a part-time Director of Education of a church in Wichita as of March it was my personal life that got very exciting this past year. His daughter, Laura, taught English in the Czech Republic this past year and this May he got to go visit her and her school.
Matthew Namee, BA, 2009, graduated from the University of Kansas law school in December 2012 and is an associate attorney with the Employee Benefits department at Hinkle Law Firm in Wichita. He also serves on the board of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas.
Jordan Poland, MA, 2013, was hired as the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Director in Wichita in February 2014. He will be a speaker for the Kansas Humanities Council's 2015 Speaker's Bureau on topics relating to the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street traveling exhibit, "Hometown Teams."
Jim Posey, BA, 1972, is enjoying his third retirement, this time from the Municipality of Anchorage's "Municpal Light & Power." A recent article about him is available on line with the Alaska Business Monthly.
Sandra Reddish, MA, 2003, is now the executive director of the Legacy of the High Plains Museum in Gering, Nebraska. For more information, visit http://legacyoftheplains.org/.
Werner J. Roekle, MA, 1970, taught for two years in Kewaunee, Wisconsin. In 1972., he accepted a position as principal of St. Paul's Lutheran School in Saginaw, MI. During this time he was appointed to the Michigan State Ad hoc Committee for non-public schools. He also served on the State of Michigan Teacher Certification Committee. After forty-five years in the Lutheran Schools, he retired in 1997. After retirement he taught English as a second language for two years. His wife of 55 years, Marilyn, and he maintain a home in Freeland, MI (near Saginaw), as well as Sun City West, Arizona in the winter months.
Ashley (Nicks) Scheideman, MA, 2009, is still working for Make-A-Wish. The previous President/CEO retired in July, and she took over as Interim Executive Director, while maintaining her old position as Director of Program Services as well. She also also began an MBA program at Friends University in September, and plans to complete that in a little under 2 years.
Kirk Scott, MA, 1999, is currently a sales representative for Cengage higher Learning. An accomplished jazz musician, he continues to seek out gigs.
Theresa St. Romain, MA, 2004, worked as project coordinator at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita until 2010. In 2008, she transformed her master's thesis, a biography of silent film actress Margarita Fischer, into a book entitled Margarita Fischer: A Biography of the Silent Film Star. She now works as a freelance editor and writer, publishing historical romance under the name Theresa Romain.
Jim Sherow, BAE 1976 and MA 1978, is currently a full professor of American History at Kansas State University. He is the author of three books of history on the American West and Environmental History and more than 25 peer reviewed journal articles. He graduated with his PhD from the University of Colorado in 1987 and taught four years at Texas State University (1988-1992) before moving to Manhattan in 1992. He was elected to the Manhattan City Commission in 2006 and again in 2008 and will begin his term as Mayor of Manhattan Kansas in April of 2011. He is currently working on a history of the Chisholm Trail and a re-photography project with John Charlton of the Kansas Geological Survey. He and his wife, Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, an Associate Professor of History at KSU, are working on a co-authored biography of a Southern Cheyenne Family in Oklahoma. In his spare time, Jim restores historic houses, the last of which he now lives in and he swears he will never, ever, restore another house! He and his wife have four grown daughters. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christine Simmons-Henkel, BA, 1974, has been the Manager of Professional Development at Tinker Federal Credit Union in Oklahoma City, OK. , where she manages employee training and development activities for all 500+ employees and 22 branches across the state of Oklahoma. Although there was never enough time to travel as much a she liked, she and her husband did make it to Lake Powell, the North Shore of Lake Superior, and the California coast.
Ray Soderholm, MA, 1970, is still mostly retired, though he does substitute teaching at Minnetonka High School, west of Minneapolis, once or twice a week, mostly in social studies or English. He is one of the leaders of a book discussion group composed mostly of retired teachers, librarians, and professors.
Ken Spurgeon, MA, 2002, is the Director of Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences at Cowley Colllege. He also serves as the Executive Director for Lone Chimney Films, Inc., a 501c3 film company dedicated to making historical and educational documentaries about Kansas and the Midwest. His book, A Kansas Soldier at War: The Civil War Letters of Christian and Elise Dubach Isely, has just come out.
Athena Stephanopoulos, MA, 2007, is working on turning some of her thesis on the Osage cattle industry into published articles. The United States Attorney's office is requesting a copy of her thesis as it pertains to Native American land and legal issues. She is applying for a Fulbright to Morocco, and is studying for the LSAT with the ultimate goal of becoming an immigration lawyer.
Judge Scott W. Stucky, BA, 1970, is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington, DC.has had a distinguished career with the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. He recently judged moot court final rounds at Vanderbilt Law School in February and at UCLA Law School in March. He recently gave the annual George S. Prugh Lecture in Military Legal History at the Army Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia, in April. His topic was “Appellate Review of Courts-Martial in the United States.” He organized a successful special session of court on 1 October 2010 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Court of Appeals' historic courthouse. Chief Justice John Roberts attended and unveiled a plaque honoring the judges who sat in the courthouse in its first century. Much of the research on the courthouse was done by Benjamin Hruska (MA 2004), who interned for Judge Stucky in the summer of 2009.
Steve Swanson, BA 2000, served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1970s. Worked as an air traffic controller for the FAA until he retired at his final duty station Wichita MidContinent Airport in 2010.
In addition to BA in History at WSU, he has an AAAS in Paralegal Studies at WSU and a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Friends University. While working for the FAA he also worked part-time for many years at CornerStone Law in Newton KS as a paralegal performing legal research and preparing court documents. After retiring from the FAA, he formed CornerStone Companies which provides legal support solutions for law firms--first client is CornerStone Law.
John D. Thiesen, MA 1990, is archivist and co-director of libraries at Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas.This has been a fairly busy year for archival and historical projects. In March I traveled to the Hopi tribal archives in Kykotsmovi, Arizona, to deliver digitized versions of about 2300 photographs taken by Mennonite missionaries in the 1890s-1910s. In April I presented a paper at the Kansas Association of Historians which grew out of a couple of sentences in a seminar paper I wrote at WSU for Bill Unrau back in the late 1980s: " I Am the Great Messiah of All the Earth: Renegade Mormons, Ghost Dance Survivors, and Mennonites in the US West 1895-1920." Then in September I polished my German language skills (very out of practice) at a history conference in Münster, Germany, on "Mennonites in the National Socialist Era.
Kori Thompspon, MA, 2014, is the historical documents coordinator for the Hutchison Public Library, is an associate professor of history at Ashford University, and has recently started teaching ull time at Hutchinson Community College. She has been the only American accepted to present her research at the European Association of Archeology international conference in Glasgow, Scotland. She is also working on a project telling the story of World War I and the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory.
Tyler Thornton, MA, 2013, currently works as an Administrative Assistant at AerCap, a company that leases airplanes to the airlines. His research skills and analytical thinking have really helped him land a job here.
Charlene Day Van Walleghen, BA 1985, also took classes in Public History during 1992-1993. After retirement from USD 259 as an elementary school teacher, She began working at the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita. She has also taught workshops geared toward preschool and early elementary school teachers through Friends University. Her love for history has combined with a love for quilting. She has enjoyed membership in the American Quilt Study Group and is active in the regional four-state chapter of that organization. She and her husband and enjoy exploring local history and travel the state as members of the Kansas Explorers.
Myron L. Webster, BA in Liberal Arts (History and Physical Education), 1965 and BA in Education, 1965; MA in United States History, 1968, is a retired educator (United States history and Advanced Placement United States History--APUSH). He continues to serve as a spotter for the public address announcer at Cabrillo High School's home football games (28 years and counting) and is also privileged to help new teachers on the APUSH ListServ with course outlines, daily outlines, quizzes, review techniques, tests, etc. He is a member of Are You Ready? Ministries Church where he wife (the former Elaine Woydziak) is the pastor and of the Are You Ready? Ministries Interchurch Pageant Company.
Richard Welch, MA, 1970, teaches at CW Post College of Long Island University, and has added a course at the NY State U at Farmingdale. He just published the book "King of the Bowery, Big Tim Sullivan, Tammany Hall and New York." He has also gotten into curating museum exhibitions, including one on a Revolutionary espionage ring active on Long Island, and one on local Civil War history. He now lives in Northport, NY.
Judy Welfelt, MA 2012, is now teaching History at Friends University.
John L. Whitlock, BA, 1969, was, until his retirement, Patron Services Director, Blind & Physically Handicapped Library Services for the Mississippi Library Commission.
Marshall R. Whitlock, BA 1973 and MA 1975, after graduating from WSU, went to the University of Minnesota for post graduate work in American History. While there, hee worked for the Minnesota Legislative Auditor’s office, before being named as Executive Director of the Minnesota Legislative Commission to Review Administrative Rules. After that, he went to Topeka where he was the Executive Director of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. He and his wife, Laurel Watkins Whitlock, BA 1975, moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where he held various state government management positions, including Deputy Director for Enforcement for the Nebraska Real Estate Commission, and Executive Director for the Nebraska State Board of Public Accountancy. After working in the private sector for a number of years as a sales and training manager, he made a career move to be the Director for Bellevue University’s Lincoln campus. He and his wife decided to join their youngest son in Wisconsin, and for the past seven years he has served as Milwaukee Area Director for Upper Iowa University, and most recently as North Central Region Director for UIU. Marshall and Laurel greatly enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin, and their grandchildren.
Gary A. Woods, BA, 1969; MA, 1971, Retired from the Pentagon in Jan 2010 as Director of Educational Opportunities for the Department of Defense. He is now serving Brandman University in Irvine Californina as the Vice Chancellor for Military, Spouse and Veterans Affairs, and is responsible for establishing policies, programs and procedures for delivery of Brandman degree, licensure and certification programs to military personnel and their spouses worldwide.
Nicholas Wyant, MA, 2007, received his MLS from Iowa in 2008 and is Head of Social Sciences at the IU libraries.
Joshua Yearout, MA, 2005, was employed as an archivist in the Wichita State University Libraries Department of Special Collections until his passing in 2009. His thesis has been published posthumously under the title Wichita Jazz and Vice Between the World Wars. For more information, click here.
Liping Zhu, MA, 1986, is professor of history at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. Starting September 1, 2014, he will serve as Chair of History Department. Currently, he is a council member of the American Historical Association—Pacific Coast Branch and on editorial board of several history journals and book award committees. His latest book The Road to Chinese Exclusion: The Denver Riot, 1880 Election, and Rise of the West was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2013. In June, 2014, he gave a keynote speech at the Western Writers of America annual conference in Sacramento.
Tom Zwemke, 1972, has had over 40 years experience in International marketing including 30 years with Cessna. He currently has his own company, TZ Productions LLC, specializing in film and video production for major clients world-wide along with documentaries for Public Television.Since graduation in 1972, I have had over 40 years experience in International marketing including 30 years with Cessna.