Class Notes


Book coverRobert J. (Bob) Conti, ’67, retired from 35 years of pastoring churches in New York and 15 years at Sound of Life Radio, where he served as general manager, COO and announcer. He and his wife, AnnaLee Cousart, ’67, live in Beacon, N.Y., just across the Hudson River from their son and five grandchildren.

arrow icon AnnaLee Cousart, ’67 –“My most recent book, Till the Storm Passes By, the first novel in my Alaskan Waters Trilogy, has been published in e-book and trade paperback by Ambassador International. My experiences growing up in Alaska in the ’50s and ’60s heavily inform my writing of this book, which is set in the Alaska Panhandle in 1953. While showcasing the scenic beauty of Alaska, I dramatize the destructiveness of family secrets, as well as the redemption and healing that can only come through forgiveness. I have also published numerous short stories, articles, devotionals, church school curriculum, and a nonfiction book, Frontiers of Faith, which recounts the adventures of my grandparents as pioneer missionaries to Alaska, 1917 – 1982. To learn more about my books, go to or”



Milo Griffin, ’70, received a JP Jones Legacy Award at Fairbanks’ inaugural Black History Month’s Men of Distinction event in February 2013. He has worked as a teacher and coach at Lathrop High School for more than 30 years.

Pat Cole, ’72, received the 2012 Vic Fisher Municipal Employee Award from the city of Fairbanks for his commitment to excellence.

Jerry Cleworth, ’75, mayor of Fairbanks, was named the 2012 Elected Official of the Year by the Alaska Municipal League at its annual conference in Anchorage.

Joan Braddock, ’77, ’83, interim director of the University of Alaska Press, is vice chair of the Alaska Humanities Forum’s executive committee.

Jim Culley, ’78, is vice president of and a commercial loan officer for Northrim Bank in Fairbanks.


Randy Weaver, ’82, was appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell to the Alaska Student Loan Corp. board in November 2012.

Thomas McKenna, ’84, was elected president of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. He is the director of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison.

Darryl Lewis, ’88, received a JP Jones Industry Leadership Award in media at Fairbanks’ inaugural Black History Month’s Men of Distinction event in February 2013.

Susan “K’etso” Jones Paskvan, ’88, won the Culture Bearer Award for her work in teaching and preserving a Native language.


Serena Cook, ‘91 — “I have published a book with my friends and colleagues, Magda Barcelo and Laure le Douarec. Gatherings: how to participate in, host, or facilitate rEvolutions with abracadabra draws on my education at UAF. The book [contains] a series of techniques for making conversations with other people better. I would go so far as to say it improves conversations with yourself.” Find out more at

John Law (Zhangai Luo), ’91, is owner of TrueMinds in Denver, Colo.

Tammy Kosa, ’94, is vice president of and regional sales and service manager for Northrim Bank in Fairbanks.

Randy Pommenville, ’94, ’12, is the job-risk management officer in Overland Park, Kan.

Kasilof Beacharrow icon Toby Burke, ’96, defended his family from an attacking, but luckily mostly blind, brown bear on the Kasilof River in April 2013. The wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was with his wife, Laura, and three of their 10 children. Read the full story at

Heath Hilyard, ’96, executive director of the SouthEast Alaska Guides Organization in Anchorage, was an Alaska Journal of Commerce‘s 2013 Top Forty Under 40 honoree.

Dena M. Sommer-Pedebone’96, senior manager of housing services for the Cook Inlet Housing Authority in Anchorage, was an Alaska Journal of Commerce’s 2013 Top Forty Under 40 honoree.

Brian Hanson, ’97, manager of aviation engineering at DOWL HKM in Anchorage, was an Alaska Journal of Commerce’s 2013 Top Forty Under 40 honoree.

One of Annie Duffy's vesselsAnnie Duffy, ’96, adjunct art instructor at UAF, received her second Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Fellowship. She is a craft artist whose work focuses on vessels made of paper, cotton, bent wood and beeswax.

Don Rearden,’97, associate professor at UAA, had his book, The Raven’s Gift, published in 2012. Find out more at

Michelle Rizk, ’97, ’01, associate vice president of budget and planning for the University of Alaska, was an Alaska Journal of Commerce’s 2013 Top Forty Under 40 honoree.

Lance Roberts, ’97, was elected to the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly in November 2012.

Catherine Heroy, ’98, married Dave Wilson in February 2012. They live in Anchorage.

Raymond Vara, ’98, was elected to the Bank of Hawaii Corp. board of directors. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.


Kelley (Cadman) Sadler, ’01, was recently married and works for Tacoma Community College as the director of institutional research.

Michael Campbell, ’02, ’04, ’05, school liaison officer at Fort Wainwright, was an Alaska Journal of Commerce’s 2013 Top Forty Under 40 honoree.

Sarah Keefer, ’04, worked in Glacier Bay National Park as a park ranger for four years. She moved to her home state of Minnesota to reunite with and marry her high school sweetheart in June 2009. Working with the National Park Service in Minnesota, Sarah managed the Habitat Restoration Program at the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area as the exotic species specialist. She and her husband, Jeff Krebsbach, run Sand Jay, a software development business. Sara is a volunteer and instructor for the Minnesota Master Naturalist program. Travel experiences include the Caribbean, Norway and an upcoming voyage to Japan. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, two dogs and Hoku.

Stephanie Kocer, ’04, married Barrie Toepp in October 2012.

Lanien Livingston, ’04, was hired as a human resources recruiter for the Tanana Chiefs Conference in November 2012.

Digger Stolz, ’04, has published Stumbling Thru, his first novel in a two-part series about the Appalachian Trail. Stumbling Thru follows a ragtag cast of characters attempting a 2,200-mile through-hike of the trail. For more information about the author and his book, visit

TP-12-3665-19-_adj_resized arrow icon  Jon Huff, ’05, was honored as the 2012 Partner of the Year by the Downtown Association of Fairbanks. He owns Alaska Universal Productions.

Raven RiddleDaniel Adamczak, ’06, and Ashley Anderson, ’07, were married in October 2012.

Julie (Larweth) Queen, ’06, married Travis Queen in February 2013. They live in Fairbanks.

arrow-right-blk Raven Riddle, ’06, Bentley branch manager for Wells Fargo, was an Alaska Journal of Commerce’s 2013 Top Forty Under 40 honoree.

Christopher Benshoof, ’07, ’08, ’11, was named the 2012 Alaska Teacher of the Year. He is a math teacher at Lathrop High School.

Brian Cooper, ’07, ’08, and Kristina (Gearhart) Cooper, ’09, ’10, are living in New Zealand for the next two years.

Zazell Staheli, ’07, ’09, ’10, was featured in Marquette University magazine’s spring 2013 issue ( She is a student at Marquette’s School of Dentistry.

Cassie Toth, ’07, won the 2012 Kiwanian of the Year Award for outstanding service with the Kiwanis Club of Fairbanks.

Talis Colberg, ’08 — “On March 8, 2013, the Latvian Secretary of State, Andris Teikmanis, designated me the honorary consul for the Republic of Latvia in Alaska. I am half Latvian. Go, Nanooks!”

Tara Delana, ’08, married Terrence Mitchell in August 2012. They live in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Vanessa Normanarrow icon Vanessa Norman, ’08, was hired by the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine in Anchorage.

Nicholas Thompson, ’08, ’12, is a National Park Ranger in Eagle.

Leda Lotspeich-Cole, ’09 — “I am at the National Institutes of Health but I have also spent time at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where I did a master of science in molecular microbiology and immunology. After graduation I did a fellowship at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research FDA, where I studied the immune response to malaria infection. I am a first-year student in the NIH-Johns Hopkins University Graduate Partnership Program. In this program, I complete Johns Hopkins graduation requirements including coursework, lab rotations and orals with the Cellular, Molecular, Developmental Biology and Biophysics Program but do my thesis research in an NIH lab. It’s intense and competitive but very exciting.”

Craig Medina, ’09, was promoted to sergeant in the Craig, Alaska, police department.

Tom MarsikTom Marsik,’07, and his wife, Kristin Donaldson, built a net-zero energy house in Dillingham that won a Tightest Residential Building award from the World Record Academy in March 2013. Kristin has chronicled his work in Aurora.

Kate Cessnun, ’10, clinical dietitian and program coordinator for PeaceHealth Medical Center in Ketchikan, was an Alaska Journal of Commerce’s 2013 Top Forty Under 40 honoree.

Andrew Carlson, ’12, was accepted into grad school. He wants to work in the special education field when he graduates.

Lisa Pennoyer, ’12, accepted a new position in September 2012 at Wildflower Court in Juneau, where she is a caseworker for elders.


Edwin Fancher was honored by the New York School of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in December 2012. He is a founder of the school and has been its president for 34 years.