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.

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Mary Nell Hall Mahler and husband, Del, have moved to a senior living facility. She’d love to hear from Berea friends at 1950 NE 102 Ave, #243, Hillsboro, OR 97006.


Valerie Bauhofer’s partner and husband of 33 years passed away on Jan. 29. Jack White was an extraordinary artist and beloved teacher. Some of his work can be seen by searching Jack White African American Artist online.

James Rodney Terry served three years in the Army, earned a graduate degree in microbiology, and lived 31 years in Miami, Fla. In 2000, he and his wife, Barbara, retired to Fearrington Village near Chapel Hill, N.C. After his wife’s recent passing, he moved to a continuing care community nearby for the next phase of his life.

photo of Essie Knuckle

Dr. Essie P. Knuckle, a retired psychologist, has authored the newly released book “Slate Hill-1949: My Five-Year-Old Memories of My Family and Slate Hill, A Community in Roanoke, Va.” Dr. Knuckle wrote these memories to provide information for descendants of Slate Hill who never had the opportunity to witness the thriving Black community that has mostly been demolished by so-called progress. Her memories and experiences as a preschooler are presented as she experienced her people and her community. It was her intention to reveal her personal memories as experienced through the eyes of a 5-year-old Black female growing up during the period of World War II and intense segregation. This little Black girl’s experiences were characteristic of growing up in a thriving community with a Black cultural experience. This book is available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon, Kindle, and e-book.


Sharyn J. Mitchell presented “We, Too, Were Here!” at the University of Kentucky in February, which explored the often-hidden contributions that Black Americans have made to Kentucky history. Read more.

Cover jacket for the book, To Hell and Back by Judy Bryant Keith

Judy Bryant Keith published an autobiographical/self-help book about the deaths of her husband, Leonard Joe Keith ’71 and their son, Billy.  The book is titled “To Hell and Back: Journaling Your Way to a New Normal” and is available through Amazon or in most bookstores. Dr. Keith has trained school counselors in how to assist students with grief and trauma in 42 states.


Phillip Ward helped organize a 90th birthday celebration for Yoko Ono in New York. Read more.


Dr. Bryn Gabriel is head of the Cochabamba Cooperative School in Bolivia. He was previously the director at the International School of Myanmar. Dr. Bryn, as his students call him, wishes the world will pray for Myanmar.


Rhonda Florence is the library director at the Cynthiana-Harrison County Public Library. She returned to Kentucky after 27 years of teaching in North Carolina public schools.

Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews is president and founder of the Tribute and Honor Foundation. The organization, which is a little more than a year old, recently raised more than $43,000 to help rebuild a VFW post near his home on Long Island, N.Y., that suffered significant fire damage. In addition to his volunteer work as the foundation’s president, he serves on several other boards, is a former city councilman, and is a freelance voice and speech coach. To learn more about the foundation visit:

Cindy Durban White retired from Trinity Lutheran School in 2021 after 37 years of teaching. She worked as an auxiliary teacher for grades K-6 her first five years, and then she taught third grade for 32 years.


Ebby Luvaga, teaching professor in economics, is the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Service in Student Recruitment and Retention award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. She is the primary advisor for all first-year agricultural business students, coordinator for undergraduate academic advising in the department and supervisor for the student peer mentor team that works with the department’s learning communities. She has been a leading force in developing and maintaining learning communities for students in economics, agricultural business and business economics. She is also a strong advocate for underrepresented and minority students in the department. Read more.

Rebecca Jo Ann Reed was recently named president of the Adams County Genealogical Society in West Union, Ohio.

Book Cover for "Homelessness through the Eyes of a Nurse in the City" by Crystal Barker

Crystal E. Barker published her book “Homelessness Through the Eyes of a Nurse in the City.” She grew up on a farm in the hills of Kentucky. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Berea College and went on to earn her master’s degree in Nursing at California State University, Los Angeles. She has worked as a registered nurse for 32 years serving veterans. She resides in Nevada and writes in the early hours of dawn, watching the desert’s glow of sunrise blanket her paper while listening to the sound of awakening songbirds. Her collection of poems is written in the poetic form of Pleiades—seven lines for the constellation of seven sisters and six syllables on each line representing the nearly invisible nature of each sister. Forty-nine poems were written—symbolism of the seven poems and the seven sisters (7×7=49). As with this form, there are one-word titles, and the first letter of each line is to begin with the first letter of the title. For the symbolism and power of the topic of HOMELESSNESS, each poem began with the letter h. This book is dedicated to those who have felt the cold of the street, who have read the pages of an eviction notice, who have heard the words of a loved one casting them out, who have smelled the sour from lack of hygiene, or who have craved the taste of a home with a spirit of love and acceptance. The book is available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


Sara Morgan, formerly Fahe’s EVP and chief investment officer, has been promoted to president of Fahe. In her new role, she assumes overall responsibility for the corporation. Morgan has more than two decades of experience at Fahe, and during her tenure she led Fahe’s staff and network through significant growth and expansion. “I’m honored to step into the president role,” Morgan said. “Fahe has doubled in size every five years, the network has doubled in its production as well, and we are at a point in time where there are new opportunities emerging, such as the Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and other funding opportunities, that we are well positioned to capitalize on thanks to the expertise of our members. I am excited to lead Fahe to go farther, deeper and create more impact in our region.” Read more.

portrait of Dwayne Compton

Dwayne Compton, chief diversity officer and associate dean of community engagement and diversity at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, was awarded the Diamond Award for Excellence in Education Leadership, Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, Humanitarian, Philanthropic and Community Engagement by the Not Alone Foundation Inc. The Diamond Awards is a program designed by the Not Alone Foundation to honor faces and images of excellence in the entertainment, corporate, education and creative industries for their professional accomplishments and contributions to society on a local, state or international level in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Portrait of Chaka Cummings

Chaka Cummings was appointed to serve as executive director of the Association for Teaching Black History in Kentucky, which is housed in the Carter G. Woodson Center for Interracial Education at Berea College. The association was established to work with Kentucky’s public schools to help ensure that the many social, historical and cultural contributions of Black Kentuckians are not forgotten, but instead are woven into the teaching of the state’s—and the nation’s—history. Read more. You can also watch his interview which begins at about the 19-minute mark.

Portrait of Rachel Rosolina

Rachel Rosolina has been named communications director for Appalshop, an Appalachian media and arts nonprofit in Whitesburg, Ky. As of January, she handles internal and external communications remotely from her home in Bloomington, Ind.


Debra M. Bulluck joined Moss & Barnett’s family law firm. Read more.


Heather Dent discusses the inspiration and founding of Winterberry Studio. Read more.


Holly Korb Rabnott excitedly began her academic advising career on Nov. 30, 2022, as an advising specialist for the college of STEM at Eastern Kentucky University. She is forever thankful for the impact her advisors had on her while a student at Berea and hopes to now pay it forward to current and future EKU STEM students!

Photo of Daniel Sinkel standing in front of a large space vehicle.

Dan Sinkel will be celebrating his first anniversary working as a project engineer on Blue Origin’s New Glenn heavy-lift launch vehicle. Since graduating from Western Kentucky University with a master’s degree in engineering technology management in December 2016, Sinkel has served in a variety of roles within the new space industry working on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, NASA’s SLS vehicle and terrestrial testbeds for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Office. After a few brief years living in California and Alabama, he now resides in his home region near Bowling Green, Ky., with his wife, Katie Newville-Sinkel ’14 and their critters on their farm. Sinkel credits his successes to Katie’s loving support and organizational skills in maintaining a smooth transition between each move and job opportunity. They look forward to what the future holds, as well as their seventh wedding anniversary this winter.

Photo of Cathy Helen Catherine Hick's baby girl

BIRTH: a daughter, Harper Layne, born to Cathy Helen Catherine Hicks in February 2022. Hicks married in 2020.

Carolyn Grace invitation to celebration

Carolyn Grace published “Grenadine and Other Love Affairs,” by the small press of Shadelandhouse Modern Press in Lexington, Ky. They celebrated Grace and her debut poetry book on April 29 at The Taleless Dog Booksellers in Berea. Read more or purchase the book.


Dayzaughn Graves created the “Ain’t I a Girl,” program, which highlights the collective experiences of other women for Madison County girls. The goals of the program are to “expose participants to tools that can “increase self-worth, identity and relational connections,” “to gain/increase knowledge of lived experiences of womanhood in different stages of development among participants” and “foster a creative and judgment-free learning environment that encourages authentic expressions of self.” Read more.


Elijah Hicks published a column in the Lexington Herald-Leader on last July’s flooding in Eastern Kentucky. Read more.

Portrait of Eduardo next to the picture displayed in the Capitol

Eduardo Alvarez-Esparza’s photograph, titled “Underground Silhouette,” was selected to be displayed in the state capital through the Team Kentucky Gallery. The photograph is a candid shot captured during a trip to Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill, Ky.

Portrait of Gaston next to the picture displayed in the Capitol
Senior Gaston Jarju stands next to his winning Team Kentucky Gallery entry, “Adventures with Mountaineers.” The photo was taken on the East Pinnacle in the Berea College Forest during the College’s annual Mountain Day. Photo by Crystal Wylie

Gaston Jarju snapped his photograph titled “Adventures with Mountaineers,” which was taken during Berea College’s annual Mountain Day at the Pinnacles of Berea. His photograph was selected to be displayed in the state capital through the Team Kentucky Gallery.


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