Class of 2013 Fall 2018 Letter

Fall 2018

Dear Classmate,

It’s the start of a new school year at Luther! I can’t believe that we have now officially spent five years away from our second home. As you may know, our five-year class reunion is scheduled for Saturday, October 27 (Homecoming weekend) at the Elks Lodge (Decorah). Remember to make your reservation on-line at to attend this event! Take a moment to look at the Homecoming schedule for the rest of the weekend (October 26-28), if you haven’t already. It’s jam-packed with activities – including the Homecoming Parade, induction of fellow alumni into the Athletic Hall of Fame and more! You can find the Homecoming schedule and updates at Don’t forget to cross these classics off your to-do list for that weekend: hiking to Dunning’s Spring, eat at Mabe’s, football at the stadium, and most importantly, getting a tornado at Whippy Dip!

In other news, most have heard that President Paula Carlson will retire at the end of the 2018–19 academic year. During her time at Luther, President Carlson added several academic programs to the college, renewed outdoor facilities, expanded Luther’s Career Center services, developed and launched the “Next Steps for Sophomores” program, added a dean of institutional equity and inclusion to Luther’s staff, and achieved Luther’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by the end of 2015, among other things. The presidential search process has begun, with the hope of having a new president in place for the 2019–20 academic year.

Remember, you can keep up with other important news updates from Luther by following Luther’s social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.), or by visiting!

While changes are afoot at our alma mater, Luther also holds tight to its traditions, like keeping in touch with valued alumni. Speaking of which, if you haven’t already used the Alumni Directory system, now would be a great time to try it, especially with our reunion approaching. is the website for this resource. If you have trouble logging in, you can contact the Technology Help Desk for assistance. Until we meet again, best wishes for a fall that’s as beautiful as it is in the Oneota Valley.

Clara Bergan
2013 Class Agent
1301 Locust Street, Apt. 202
Des Moines, IA 50309-2927
[email protected]

Jessica Zenchak
2013 Class Agent
1425 East Bellows St. Apt. G10
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858-3660
[email protected]


Nick Andresen earned the medical doctorate from the University of Iowa and is a resident physician in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. 

Devan Benjamin earned a master’s degree in literacy education from Drake University. She is an Instructional Coach for the Des Moines (Iowa) Public Schools.

Hannah (Buehler) and Donald Lee-Brown live in Arlington, Va. Hannah earned a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Kansas and is an executive fellow at Pharmacy Quality Alliance. Donald earned a Ph.D. in physics and observational astronomy from the University of Kansas and is a data science fellow at Insight Data Science. 

Kayli Bullard earned a degree of applied science in radiography from St. Catherine University. She is a radiologic technologist at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, Minn. 

Laura Christensen teaches mathematics at Muscatine (Iowa) High School.

Alicia Findley is a child advocate at Presbyterian Night Shelter in Fort Worth, Texas.

Tyler Hagy is director of choral activities at Iowa City (Iowa) High School.

Brittany Hansen is a physical therapist at Highline Physical Therapy in Seattle. 

Cooper Jacks is data records specialist in the Registrar's Office at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Matt Key is an intelligence specialist for the U.S. Navy in Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan.

Shannon Koenders earned a doctor of optometry degree from UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry. She was inducted into Beta Sigma Kappa optometry academic honor society and the Gold Key Int'l Optometric Honor Society for leadership/service, was awarded AAO and VOSH student fellowships, and served as a VOSH intern and SVOSH chapter president. She was recently presented with the Good-Lite Pediatrics Award, the OWA/Luxottica Scholarship, and the UIWRSO Mission Award/Scholarship. Shannon is a resident optometrist in pediatrics, vision therapy, and neuro-optometric rehabilitation in Minneapolis.

Kirk Lehmann is community development planner for the City of Iowa City, Iowa.

Nicole (Hayden) McDevitt earned a doctor of physical therapy degree from the University of Iowa and is a physical therapist at Des Moines Orthopedic Surgeons in Ankeny, Iowa.

Evan Neubauer is a casualty claims representative at Cottingham & Butler in West Liberty, Iowa.

Clara Olson teaches math at Open World Learning Community in St. Paul, Minn. 

Chris Paulson is ensemble services coordinator for Manhattan Concert Productions in New York City. 

David Pedrick is senior technical project manager at Southface Energy Institute in Atlanta.

Berta Antonieta Tilman Pereira is a political and economic research analyst for the Australian Embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste. 

Erin Persick earned a master's degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas. She is an adjunct professor at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J. 

Valerie (Krych) Peterson teaches elementary music in Rogers, Minn. 

Jevita Poer is business development manager at Philips Research in the Netherlands.

Regina Preston is membership services coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Peter Sandstedt earned a master’s degree in communication from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Sam Simataa is a software test engineer at Preventice Technologies in Rochester, Minn. 

Austen Smith is a data science consultant with Accenture in Denver.

Caitlin Stensrud-Smith of Norman, Okla., earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Mid America Christian University.

Seth Streeter graduated from Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine and is a family medicine resident physician at Iowa Lutheran in Des Moines. 

Erik Streufert is the central materials planner at Eaton Hydraulics in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Sarah Thell is a technical writer for Ameriprise Financial Services in Minneapolis.

Jordan (Mortensen) Thompson is a registered nurse at Aurora Healthcare in Milwaukee.

Cody Tucker is music director at Collegiate Preparatory Academy in Denver.

Katy (Lindstrom) and Tyler Van Heest ’12 live in Minneapolis. Katy earned a master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Minnesota. Tyler earned the medical doctorate from the University of Minnesota and is an otolaryngology head and neck surgery resident physician at the University.

Chelsea Weiss is a team lead and integration architect at Cerner Corporation in Kansas City.

Andrew Wilbur is a risk advisory services consultant at RSM US, LLP in Davenport, Iowa.

Emily Wonder is an occupational therapy assistant at Sensory Therapeutic Occupational Therapy Clinic in Roscoe, Ill.


JESSIE CONLEY and Eric Ostrander, Oct. 6, 2017

MARIA KEMPF and JASON BLOCK '12, May 21, 2016

COLE MATTESON and Leah Klapps, Oct. 22, 2016

JULIA WALTER and Jordan Sonntag, June 25, 2016

MATT ZELLMER and REBECCA GIRVAN '14, June 24, 2017


CHRISTINA (STORLIE) and ANDREW WECKWERTH '12 welcomed a daughter, Heidi Sharon, in November 2017.