Alumni Notes: Fall 2016

1940s & 1950s

John, ’51, and Lois (Creel) Albright, ’48, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on June 16. The couple celebrated by packing more than 70,000 meals for families in need.


Dennis DeLay, ’63, was inducted into Baker’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 23 at the Overland Park Marriott.

Brock Winans, ’60, and his wife, Sharon, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Aug. 5. Both are retired elementary teachers from the Shawnee Heights school district outside of Topeka, Kansas. They now live in Williamstown, New Jersey.


Garth Fundis, ’71, was honored in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Music Masters series on Oct. 10 for his work as a producer. Fundis has collaborated with several notable names on the country music scene, including Trisha Yearwood, Sugarland, Keith Whitley, and Don Williams.

Ross Hartley, ’70, was honored in July as the newest inductee to the Wall of Fame at the Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum.

Debbi Iwig, ’74, recently became a member of The Washington Chorus, one of the most prestigious symphonic choruses in the nation. A 200-member group, The Washington Chorus’ excellence has earned two Grammy Awards and numerous other national recognitions.

Harold Jackson, ’75, was back on campus as the keynote speaker at the 2016 Convocation on August 30. Jackson received a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1991 and serves as the editorial page editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Skip Kalb, Jr., ’73, will retire from his position as director of strategic development for BNSF Railway Co. in December.

Donald Levering, ’71, was a runner-up for both the Dana Award and Ruth Stone Poetry Prize in 2016. His 2015 book, The Water Leveling with Us, from Red Mountain Press, placed second in the National Federation of Press Women poetry book contest. His most recent book, Coltrane’s God, won the New Mexico Press Women book award in poetry.


Kevin Mahogany, ’81, a jazz vocalist, received the 2016 Jazz San Javier Award at the 19th San Javier International Jazz Festival in Spain on July 30.

Candice Millard, ’89, opened her book tour for Hero of the Empire at Unity Temple on the Plaza on Sept. 20 in front of more than 700 guests, including several Baker alumni, students, and faculty. The event was hosted by Rainy Day Books. This is Millard’s third book and gives an account of the Boer War, a daring escape, and the ascension of Winston Churchill.

Dan Pace, ’80, and Brenda (Barnhardt) Pace, ’81, earned the award for “Barn of the Year” from the Kansas Barn Alliance for their Collingwood Barn. The beautiful facility can be seen at


David Barth, ’93, formed Barth Financial Services, LLC, to help others find happiness through financial independence. He works with clients one on one to incorporate their concerns and goals into a financial plan, including a monthly budget and net worth statement.

Dr. Christopher Cink, ’94, received the Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award at Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Cink is a professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biology, Environmental Science and Athletic Training.

Sean Franklin, ’90, was honored as a hero at an event last August for helping save the life of a 13-year-old girl who suffered sudden cardiac arrest after a volleyball match. The event was organized by HeartSafe Johnson County, a collaboration among several first-responding agencies that promote and train people in AED use and hands-only CPR. Franklin is an AED instructor.

Gary Greenwood, ’93, was inducted into Baker’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 23 at the Overland Park Marriott.

Tony Rider, ’93, started his last command as a leader in the U.S. Marine Battalion Sergeant Major 2nd Battalion 14th Regiment.

John Thomson, ’95, PayIt CEO and president, was invited to present his business at the Civic Tech Pitch Contest at the 84th Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in June in Indianapolis. Thomson and his tech startup took first place and won $10,000. Also in June, PayIt was named one of 19 finalists for Amazon’s City on a Cloud competition. And in March, the company placed third at Code for America Tech Innovation Pitch, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors at South by Southwest in Austin. PayIt has developed a mobile and Web application that streamlines citizens’ financial interaction with government agencies.

Rian Watts, ’96, was inducted into Baker’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 23 at the Overland Park Marriott.


Kyrstan Hubbel, ’07, is a park ranger for the National Park Service, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this fall.

Triece (Baker) Krause, ’01, was inducted into Baker’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 23 at the Overland Park Marriott.

Mark Kabban, ’08, was accepted into Harvard University’s graduate school to study technology, education, and innovation. After graduating from Baker, the former wide receiver for the Wildcats created Youth and Leaders Living Actively (YALLA), a college-preparatory program that uses soccer to motivate migrant and refugee youth to rebuild their lives in the United States. For his efforts, Kabban has been named one of CNN’s Heroes, and his organization has been featured by the BBC, National Public Radio, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Disney Channel.


Kayla Anderson, ’12, is working as an education volunteer with the Peace Corps in Morocco.

Aaron Caldwell, ’13, is a provost lecturer and doctoral student pursuing a Ph.D. in exercise science at the University of Arkansas along with his wife Megan Rosa-Caldwell, ’14, a distinguished doctoral fellow. Aaron recently became a published researcher when his article “Effect of Caffeine on Perceived Soreness and Functionality following an Endurance Cycling Event” was featured in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Amer Didic, ’16, plays professional soccer for the Swope Park Rangers and Sporting Kansas City.

Emily Gibson, ’11, was inducted into Baker’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 23 at the Overland Park Marriott.

Cate Richards, ’12, was recently named to American Craft Week’s list of 30 Exceptional Craftspeople Under the Age of 30 for her work in jewelry and metalsmithing.

Carly Young, ’11, was named Teacher of the Year at American Preparatory Academy in Salem, Utah.