November 2020 – April 2021
W. Gordon Clay, ’58, was appointed by the state to the executive committee of the Oregon Alliance to Prevent Suicide. He serves as founding chair of the Suicide Awareness and Prevention Council of Curry County, Oregon.
Donna (Lidikay) Kempin, ’56, wrote her first mystery novel, Revenge in Venice. It can be purchased on Amazon.com.
Robert Broadfoot, ’66, sold his tax-preparation business and has fully retired after more than 34 years teaching and 40 years in the tax business.
Dr. Steven Simpson, ’79, was nominated as president of the American College of Chest Physicians, the largest society of physicians specializing in pulmonology and critical care. Dr. Simpson is a professor of medicine at the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He serves on the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel for the National Institutes of Health, under Dr. Fauci, and has an appointment as senior medical advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority’s Solving Sepsis program.
Patti Phillips, ’88, was named to the Kansas City Business Journal’s 2020 Women Who Mean Business. Phillips serves as the CEO at Women Leaders in College Sports.
David LaFrenz, ’99, was featured on the Uniquely Human podcast with Dr. Temple Grandin, the leading expert in autism. Access his interview.
John Thomson, ’95, was announced as an Ernst Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 Heartland Award recipient.
Dr. Kristy (Thrasher) De La Cruz, ’96, serves as superintendent of District Four, East Harlem, in New York City. She is also a New York City ultrarunner and has won several races over the years. She was scheduled to run her 15th NYC Marathon last November 2020.
Deb (Tompkins) North, ’93, received the Game Changer Award from WIN for KC for the work she’s done with YES! Athletics and her line of women’s wrestling shoes.
Jason Hooper, ’96, was named one of 2020 Ingram’s 250 Difference-Makers in Kansas City’s Executive Ranks.
Gordon Lansford, ’93, was named one of 2020 Ingram’s 250 Difference-Makers in Kansas City’s Executive Ranks.
Jeff Auslander, ’07 MBA, was named one of 2020 Ingram’s 250 Difference-Makers in Kansas City’s Executive Ranks.
Chris Giuliani, ’05 MBA, was named one of 2020 Ingram’s 250 Difference-Makers in Kansas City’s Executive Ranks.
Kristin Jenkins, ’08, recently presented on the power of family engagement in a child’s education at the Creating Trauma Sensitive School Annual Conference.
Amber (Zenger) Knoettgen, ’02, ’05 MBA, serves as the ninth president of Cloud County Community College.
Nicole Schwartz-Eck, ’01, was appointed to Pratt First United Methodist Church.
Darren Taylor, ’07 MBA, was named one of 2020 Ingram’s 250 Difference-Makers in Kansas City’s Executive Ranks.
Ramia (Welsh) Whitecotton, ’08, was recently selected for the 2020-21 Staff Fellow Program at the University of Kansas.
Laura (Kalkman) Wingren, ’07, along with her husband, Mark, launched Jack Harrison Heating & Air Conditioning in 2020. They are located in Olathe, Kansas, and offer a special Baker alumni discount. Visit them at JackHarrisonAir.com.
Jordan Dolbin, ’13, serves as the manager for social marketing for the National Football League, where she recently won an Emmy for her work. Read more about Baker’s Emmy winners.
Gary Hassenstab, ’11, wrote the book Brighten Your Leadership Light, recently published by Christian Faith Publishing.
Melinda Hipple, ’16, is an established author, editor, artist, and photographer. Hipple published the book Home Front—a true story based on the WWII diaries of Velma Beckerdite. Visit her at www.melindabhipple.com.
Sam Huenergardt, ’10 MBA, was named one of 2020 Ingram’s 250 Difference-Makers in Kansas City’s Executive Ranks.
Antonio Ledesma, ’14 MCM, was named the first soccer coach in the history of Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.
Patrick Mirch, ’12, won his first Emmy in 2020. He is the morning producer at KMBC-TV in Kansas City and was nominated for his coverage of the Linwood tornado aftermath in May of 2019. Read more about Baker’s Emmy winners.
Carly (Berblinger) O’Dell, ’15, was named the 2020-21 Teacher of the Year for McAuliffe Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Meagan Thomas, ’13, is the owner and founder of the marketing agency Springs Native Creative in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She also created the podcast Single in the Springs and a food blog called Springs Native.
Thank You to These Alumni
The following alumni served as panelists to support our Mungano events throughout the fall 2020 semester:
Antonio Adgers, ’16, Ronald Atkinson, ’10, Dr. Alexander Baird, ’16, Tavis Banks, ’12 BSM, Adam Barry, ’09, Deion Christophe, ’02, Brittany Coleman, ’08, Jasmine Crews, ’16 MAOL, Di Tu Dissassa, ’10, Shontelle Dixon, ’10, Silas Dulan, ’05, ’13 MSM, Dr. Preston Edwards, ’06, Andrew Hannon, ’09, Jess Hannon, ’14, Randall Henderson, ’88, Eddie King, ’89, Dr. Khadijah Lane, ’16, Nicole Leonard, ’03, Alex Villalobos-McAnderson, ’06, Greg Patton, ’84, Calvin Pearce, ’12, Aphton Riley, ’08, Ray Torry, ’96, ’02 MBA, Michael Williams, ’84, and Zandy Woodruff-Hall, ’11.