The Berea College Alumni Association enjoys hearing from Bereans from all over the world. The “Class Notes” section of Berea College magazine reports verifiable news you wish to share with your alumni friends and associates: careers, weddings, retirements, births, and other items of importance to our alumni. Please include your class year and name used while attending Berea. Notes may be edited for style and length. While we will make every effort to put your information into the next issue of BCM, some delays may occur. We appreciate your understanding.
Tap or click on the arrows beside each year below to display Class Notes and photos.
Mary Alice Meharg retired after 52 years as a children’s service supervisor with the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. On April 21, she and Queen Elizabeth both turned 95.
Mary Musser Nash, avid knitter, knits hats for homeless people in her home county of Washington, Va. Read more.
Gordon Hamilton said he is doing well but misses attending meetings and social gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Billy Edd Wheeler authored a book titled “The Boston Cowgirl.” The book is available on Amazon. You can read more about Billy Edd Wheeler here.
Cecelia Burnell McKinney published her second book of memoirs in 2020. Both books are available on Amazon.
Rubynelle Waldrop Thyne writes: “I was incensed reading W.J. Cash’s ‘Mind of the South.’ Though gaining better understanding since then, I felt it shamed mill workers, and I determined to show in writing that mill hill people could be dignified and fulfilled. Finally, I’ve written my novel, ‘That Look: A Cotton Mill Village Romance.’ It is available on Amazon.”
Mary Nell Mahler writes: “All is well in Oregon. Vaccine received.”
Dr. G. Keith Parker and Leslie Parker Borhaug ’90 authored “To Stand on Solid Ground: A Civil War Novel Based on Real People and Events.” The book was recognized as a 2021 Distinguished Favorite in the Military category by Independent Press Award. It won the Award of Excellence and the Lighthouse Award in 2020 from the North Carolina Society of Historians.
Dr. Bill Best recently published a new political satire titled “Lil Donnie.” Read more.
Mable Lewis Starling and her husband, James, celebrated their 61st anniversary on April 21. She met him while at Berea through a mutual friend whose husband was stationed with him in the Army at Fort Knox, Ky.
Vernon Gordon and his wife, Norma, are growing old and remain warm, happy and content!
Margaret Simmons now lives in State College, Pa., and would be able to host students visiting for the advanced programs offered there, when we can travel safely.
Ival Secrest shared that after 51 years of living in Sierra Vista, Ariz., they are moving to Eugene, Ore., to be near a daughter as they advance in age. Eugene will be their base as they revert to what is known as full-time RVing for a few years that will include coming back to Sierra Vista in
the winter. They can be contacted via email at email@example.com.
Peggy Creed Shouse retired from her full-time job as an elementary school librarian in 2006. She continued to work part-time for the public library until two years ago. About a year and a half ago she discovered acrylic fluid art and has completed 150 abstract paintings in the past year.
Dr. John E. Fleming has dedicated his life to preserving African American history. He shared his thoughts about his experiences in recognition of Black History Month. Read more.
Fleming also recently was honored with a Phifer family gift to the N.C. School of Science & Mathematics. Read more.
BIRTH: a daughter, Ada Harper Pederson Zalewski to Kristin Pederson and Peter Zalewski on Nov. 3, 2020 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ada’s grandmother is Lucy Pederson.
Darrell Myers is retired, spending a lot of time reading the Bible and listening to Bob Dylan on the stereo.
Carolyn Coffey Pennington authored “The Black Gum Well,” which has been released by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa. The cover of the novel is an illustration by her son J.T. (Todd) Dockery and Ron Dockery. The book is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Carolyn can be reached at 285 Moores Creek School Rd., Annville, KY 40402. Phones: (606) 364-3881 and (606) 493-5519.
Paul Phillips leads the Elgin Children’s Foundation as the general counsel, working in 30 counties in Appalachia. He was recognized in 2020 as a Legendary Partner by the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Kentucky and with the Champion of Appalachia Award by Christian Appalachian Project. Phillips lives in Oneida, Tenn.
James Mounce writes: “Hello to classes ’72 through ’76. Hope all of you are doing well. I was blessed with a grandson in 2017. Hunter is perfect, but I lost my son-in-law to a motorcycle accident in 2019 and lost my wife Sheri to COVID in 2020. Stay healthy and love your family daily.”
Bill and Rhoda Marcum Clement are “caving” in the desert of Ojo Caliente, N.M. Since you cannot take pictures in the cave (or even wear shoes) you may see what the inside of the cave looks like by Googling “Ra Paulette’s sandstone caves.”
Bonnie Campbell was trained as a studio potter in the Ceramic Apprenticeship Program while attending Berea. A book designer and art director for more than 25 years at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina Press, and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, she now runs her own design business—Blue Egg Studio.
Carla Bailey retired in July after 36 years as interlibrary loan librarian at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. She said when she started the job, it was a few written requests in a shoebox. When she retired, they were processing 10,000 requests a year. She realized shortly after she started her student aide job at Hutchins Library that she wasn’t destined to be a teacher but to be a librarian. “God bless Sarah Firor and Phyllis Hughes!” she wrote. Bailey and husband, Patrick, have moved to Chambersburg, Pa., near a dear classmate, Diane Morrow ’78.
Ron Hartmiller has been retired for eight years and working hard at two part-time jobs. His spare time is spent with his three kids and amazing granddaughter. He will have been married 40 years this summer.
Maria Stephens retired from the East Baton Rouge Parish School System in July 2020. Stephens worked as a school psychologist for 36 years.
Lisa Hayes Magee and her husband, Erich Magee, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on May 25. They live in the small town of Pittsboro, N.C., where they play music in their spare time. Lisa retired after 35 years with IBM in May 2020 and was elected the Chatham County Democratic Party Pittsboro precinct chair on March 13. Erich retired from IBM in February. Lisa may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Elizabeth Nelon has traveled the world in her nursing career, serving a variety of clients in a multitude of settings. Nelon is finally settling down in Asheville, N.C. She can be reached at 15 Park Avenue, 28803; (828) 305-2405 and would love to hear from you. Her one “regret” is never joining the U.S. Air Force, although she served our precious veterans in a veteran’s medical center and ongoing in the community. She loves our USA! Nelon would like to thank her father Claude Nelon ’44 for encouraging her to attend Berea College. She would like to thank her mother Helen Ganey Nelon for encouraging her to study nursing. And she thanks them both for encouraging her bachelor of science in nursing degree and her higher education. “Go Berea College! Go Berea’s BS Nursing program!”
Alonzo Allen reflects on his past and how his parents and his education at Berea College helped shaped his path in the industrial arts, education and community action. Read more.
Rev. Anita Grunwald Bernhardt became the general presbyter/executive of the Presbytery of Lake Erie on Feb. 1, with responsibility for 57 congregations in northwest Pennsylvania and New York.
Dee Wathome writes: “Hello friends. I’m sure you all will agree with me that life is a journey that most of us never anticipated when we graduated in 1985. I’m sure each of us has something to smile about. For some of us, it is the wonderful offspring God has blessed us with. For others, this may include various achievements. I’m humbled to share that I have taken to writing and soon some of my publications will be available on Amazon. Please check out my book ‘Days of Elijah.’ Do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have. I can be reached at email@example.com. I’m currently living in my home country of Kenya. Blessings and best wishes!”
Vanessa Armstrong has accepted a position as the director of financial integrity in the Circuit Executive’s Office for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. This position is the first of its kind in the federal judiciary. Previously, Armstrong served the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky for more than 24 years. She will provide services in the areas of internal controls, financial process improvement, audit preparation and training. “It’s my dream job,” she said.
Leslie Parker Borhaug ’90 and Dr. G. Keith Parker ’58 authored “To Stand on Solid Ground: A Civil War Novel Based on Real People and Events.” The book was recognized as a 2021 Distinguished Favorite in the Military category by Independent Press Award. It won the Award of Excellence and the Lighthouse Award in 2020 from the N.C. Society of Historians.
Lydia Claunch Moore and Monty Moore ’92 reside in Somerset, Ky., and both practice as registered nurses. Their daughter, Milli Ruth, plays soccer at Asbury University.
Dr. Rebecca Seipelt-Thiemann, Middle Tennessee State University professor, speaks about adapting to teaching biology and technology changes amid the pandemic. Read more.
Paul March is completing his teaching certification now, after taking 30 years to attain his baccalaureate degree. After more than 28 years in a career with the Ohio State Patrol, he’ll finally be able to retire and start teaching in the fall. March says, “It’s been quite the journey! Thanks Berea!”
Chris Powers, Ph.D., was appointed as vice president for recruitment and admission at Mount St. Joseph University in Ohio. Read more.
Jeremy Heidt was appointed by Nashville Mayor John Cooper to the city’s 21-member Affordable Housing Task Force on Jan. 1. The group of industry experts will focus on the city’s urgent housing needs, and its recommendations will inform the mayor’s 2022 fiscal year budget plan. As director of industry and governmental affairs for the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA), Heidt serves as the primary point of contact for the Tennessee legislature, the state’s nine U.S. representatives and Tennessee’s two U.S. senators. He also works with public housing entities, private developers and financing entities involved in Housing Tax Credit developments. In 2020, he worked with the state legislature to raise the THDA’s debt limit to $4 billion.
Alicia Deaton Morlatt became the executive director of the Clermont Metropolitan Housing Authority in June 2020.
Celebrating 25 years at Homecoming 2021.
Dr. Comfort Enah uses mobile apps to improve health and address major health problems. Read more.
Nathan Carrick is living in Florida now for nearly 20 years and can’t imagine being anywhere else. He’s thankful to be working and happy.
Joe Dinwiddie received a patent for a 3-D stone arch puzzle he designed. He has also developed K-12 lesson plans for Appalachian handcrafts, music and folk dancing since 2004, when he began doing artist residencies in schools. His focus has been exploring cultural diversity in Appalachia by exploration of its arts and crafts. Scottish author, artist and sculptor David F. Wilson, interviewed Dinwiddie for his podcast, DUST. Amongst other topics, they discussed Berea College, the stone wall in Old Town which Dinwiddie helped build, vocational education, Kentucky, bluegrass, Appalachia and other topics. His first mention of Berea appears at 23:00. Listen here.
Celebrating 20 years at Homecoming 2021.
BIRTH: a daughter, Elizabeth Kathleen Sulfridge, born to Katy Jones Sulfridge and Luke Sulfridge of Vincent, Ohio. She has one brother, Blair Sulfridge.
BIRTH: a daughter, Margaret Vanilla Wiggins, born to Rebecca Jean Wiltberger Wiggins ’07 and Stephen Wiggins on Feb. 22, 2021. Margaret is named for her two maternal great-grandmothers, Margaret Kilbourne and Vanilla White, strong women who loved their families and their communities and who were deeply committed to justice and faithfulness in all they did.
Damon D’Juan Harding is a lead educator teaching three middle school English classes for part of the day, and the remainder of the day he is in an administrators’ (principal) role, where he evaluates teachers and teaches educators how to teach students of diverse populations—specifically students of other languages. In addition, he is finishing a doctoral program in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on language, literacy and culture. He says he can’t wait to catch up with the rest of the class of 2005.
DeJuana Thompson, founder of Woke Vote, was named the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute interim president and CEO.
Celebrating 15 years at Homecoming 2021.
Patty Schreckengost Lee was promoted to chief advancement officer of Community Matters Cincinnati. Her partnership with the urban, historically-Appalachian neighborhood of Lower Price Hill has led to new investment in resident leadership, social enterprise businesses, affordable housing and other resources to build a more thriving and just community.
Dr. Aishe Sarshad is one of 60 researchers in a new book that will arouse children’s curiosity for research.
Terri Daugherty was announced as a member of the law firm Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan on Feb. 8.
Catherine Nicole Turner graduated in December 2020 from Fordham University with a master’s degree in social work. Turner passed the state of Connecticut licensure board to be a licensed master in social work.
Jessica Gardner graduated from the University of Louisville in December 2020. She earned a master’s degree in human resources and organization development with a concentration in workplace learning and performance. She currently resides in Louisville and works for U of L as program coordinator for the Department of Surgery’s Vascular Fellowship.
Celebrating 10 years at Homecoming 2021.
Melissa Benson received a graduate certificate in educational research methods from the University of Kentucky.
Holly Korb Rabnott graduated from Eastern Kentucky University on Dec. 11, 2020, in a virtual ceremony, with her Master of Arts degree in student personnel services in higher education. She plans to pursue a career in academic advising. She is forever grateful for the advisors she had while a student at Berea and was inspired by them to become an advisor herself. She currently resides in Berea with her husband, Justin.
Nathaniel M. Fouch graduated with his J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in May 2020 and was admitted to the Minnesota Bar in October 2020.
BIRTH: a son, Oscar Michael Fouch, to Nathaniel M. Fouch and wife, Theresa, on April 3, 2021 in Minneapolis.
Storey Ryder Burden Free shared a painting Katherine Sniadowski Croce painted this year featuring their quintet of close friends at Berea (Storey Free, Destinee Tyson ’16, Tori Fleury, Tori Bowman, and Kate Sniadowski Croce). Free said nearly a decade after meeting freshman year at Berea College, they are all still keeping up nearly daily and still a group of amazing, supportive best friends.
Celebrating 5 years at Homecoming 2021.
Jonathan Dazo, ceramist and owner of Dazo’s Clay Studio, talks about the importance of the Empty Bowls fundraiser and why he chooses to donate bowls along with other local potters. Read more.
Jessica Bartoe discusses her artwork, which is on display at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, Ohio, and reflects on her time at Berea College as an art major. Read more.
Tremain-Ajena Jones had plans to become a nurse. A scholarship from the National Center for Women & Information Technology changed everything. Now she enjoys the tech career of her dreams. Read more.
Emmanuel Acheampong co-founded roboMUA, an artificial intelligence beauty platform aimed to help women find the right shade of makeup, especially women of color.
Corbin Flege and Caleb Flege ’20 graduated from officer candidate school. Here they pose alongside their family and their recruiter, Lori Cook Lawson.
Noah Creigh Hughes joined the Northern Michigan University Athletics Department as athletics communications director in February. Hughes joined the Wildcat program following a year-long stint at Union College (Ky.), where he served as the assistant director of sports communications. His responsibilities with the Bulldogs included primary coverage of men’s and women’s soccer, cycling, men’s and women’s golf, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, baseball, and men’s and women’s tennis. Prior to his role as assistant director of sports communications, Hughes worked as a graduate assistant for the Bulldogs and the Appalachian Athletic Conference, which is part of the NAIA. Other stops include nearly three years at Berea College in the sports information department as well as an internship at Western Kentucky University. He also has a background in statistics and graphic design.