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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James Powell Fd. ’54, ’58,  Hon. ’06 earned three degrees from Berea College. He attended Knapp Hall and the Foundation School, and he earned a bachelor’s degree in Geology and an Honorary Doctor of Science. He has published two books, “Deadly Voyager: The Ancient Comet Strike that Changed Earth and Human History” and “Unlocking the Moon’s Secrets: From Galileo to Giant Impact.” Both are available on his website and on Amazon.


Ron Reed and Teresa Combs Reed ’71, have donated four audio tapes to the Hutchins Library Digital Archives: a 1967 spring recording of the Chapel Choir, a spring 1968 recording of the spring Polynomen concert, a spring 1969 recording of the Pearson Trio concert and a spring 1970 recording of the Pearson Trio concert. These tapes have been downloaded and can be accessed for listening.

Cover of the book "Stories I Grew Up With" by Lonnie Jones

Lonnie Jones retired from  the North Carolina Employment Security Commission as manager of the Boone Local Office in 2007. He has been pastor of Welcome Home Baptist Church since August 1998. As president of the Ashe County Museum of History Board of Directors, he has recently published a book titled, “Stories I Grew Up With,” concerning local history and stories about the area. He is married to the former April Ramsey ’72. They have three children and seven grandchildren. The book may be ordered from:


Andrew Baskin was awarded one of the six 2023 Black Appalachian Storytelling Fellowships.
The recipients receive a cash award of $5,000 to support their practice as Black Appalachian storytellers and culture bearers with opportunities to examine, research, develop and perform and/or document the Black Appalachian storytelling tradition. Read more.


David Bartlett retired August 9, 2023, from Duke Energy/Progress after 44 years at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant in Southport, N.C., as a nuclear operator.

Snapshot of Priscilla Cahoon

Priscilla Kiteck Cahoon from Manteo, N.C., retired as an elementary school teacher assistant in 2017, now enjoying grandparenting and playing pickleball (PB—the fastest growing sport in America). She has medaled in several local PB tournaments, and qualified for North Carolina Senior State games and the National Senior games (Division III) in mixed doubles with her husband. “On our last few visits to Berea we
were disappointed to not find any pickleball courts available, so we marked off our own court at a family gathering to introduce others to the game,” she said. Cahoon can be contacted at, or on Facebook.

Dr. Anthony Hackney has been appointed the Fulbright-Saastamoinen Distinguished Chair in Health Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland. He will be working in Finland over the next two years along with his duties at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Dr. Joseph “Rocky” Wallace has authored, co-authored or edited 12 books on servant leadership and organizational health in the school setting with Rowman & Littlefield Education.  Wallace is a professor of Education at Campbellsville University and can be reached at Dr. Wallace and his wife, Denise, have two daughters and two grandchildren, and reside in Midway, Ky.

Cover of the book "The Leadership Strategy of Jesus" by Dr. Richard Halcombe

Dr. Richard Halcombe Jr. published his first book “The Leadership Strategy of Jesus,” through Morgan-James Publishers in May 2023. Using Christ’s example pulled from the pages of scripture, the book shows how one can achieve increasing kingdom results personally and organizationally using Jesus’ model. Dr. Halcombe developed a model that has helped each church become more effective in carrying out its mission in the local context through the strategy of Jesus and other tools found at

Cover of the book "Teek's Big Adventures" by Will Gray

Will Gray published a children’s book entitled “Teeka’s Big Adventures: Teeka and Billy, the Baby Goat.” The book is available as an e-book in the Kindle store on Amazon. All profits from the sale of this book are donated to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) dedicated to the welfare and protection of animals.

Cover of the book "Secrets of Blood" by Dr. Dewey Hensley

Dr. Dewey Hensley retired from Frankfort Independent Schools in Kentucky after 30 years of teaching. During his career, he served Kentucky’s children as an award-winning high school English teacher, principal and the chief academic officer for Jefferson County Public Schools (the 26th largest school system in the U.S.). He also served schools as a highly skilled educator, helping struggling schools improve, and as an associate commissioner at the Kentucky Department of Education. Since retiring, he founded an educational consulting business (Poverty Considerate Schools) helping school districts with high-poverty populations improve instruction, curriculum, assessment and leadership. Also, Dr. Hensley carved out time to write his first novel. “Secrets and Blood” is a suspense/horror book published by Hydra Publishing. It’s the story of an Appalachian county sheriff tasked with defending her small coal mining community against evil from the past and present. Berea College and the mountains play an important role in the story. Dewey can be reached at Read more.

Shawnda Valandingham Wilson retired from Shadwell Farm, LLC in March 2023. She worked as financial controller for the international thoroughbred horse farm in Lexington, Ky., for 36 years.

Photo illustration of Rodney Griffin's acceptance into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame

Rodney Griffin was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame located in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., as a singer/songwriter after being in Gospel Music full time for 32 years. He has written 20 No. 1 songs through the years and has been the recipient of the Singing News Fan Award “Songwriter of the Year” award 23 times. In December 2023, he celebrated 30 years as a member of the gospel group, Greater Vision, based in Morristown, Tenn. Learn more.

Portrait of Shannon Blankenship

Shannon Blankenship Steffey was appointed the director of the Lonesome Pine Regional Library System. This public library system includes the counties of Dickenson, Lee, Scott and Wise
in Virginia, along with the City of Norton, Va.


Maria Gaines retired from Lexington Fayette Urban County Community Corrections in April 2023 after 20 ½ years of service.

black and white portrait of Dickie Chapin

Dickie Chapin designs music software for Red Room Audio and tabletop games for Frown Clowns Games, both companies he founded. He lives in Downey, Calif., with his wife, Jodi, and daughters, Phoebe (12) and Lorelei (9).

picture of Tim Lawson at his graduation ceremony from Life Pacific University (San Dimas, Calif.)

Tim Lawson graduated from Life Pacific University (San Dimas, Calif.) in May 2022 as part of the inaugural cohort of the Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA and was inducted into the Delta Epsilon Chi Honors Society. Lawson pastors the River of Life Foursquare Church in Berea, Ky., where he lives with his wife of 25 years, Anne.

black and white portrait of Marcia Goss Franklin

Marcia Elizabeth Goss Franklin was recently accepted as one of 15 educators into the 12th cohort of Art21 Educators. Art21 is the world’s leading source to learn directly from artists of our time. A nonprofit organization, the mission of Art21 is to educate and expand access to contemporary art, producing documentary films, resources and public programs. Art21 Educators is an intensive, year-long professional development initiative and learning community. Participants in the 12th cohort attend a week-long intensive session over the summer at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City, followed by continued mentorship and collaboration with Art21 Educators alumni. Franklin has taught secondary visual art at Sacred Heart Academy on Ursuline Campus in Louisville, Ky., for more than 20 years and is currently serving as department chair. Sacred Heart Schools is one of seven K-12 international baccalaureate programs in the nation.


Rebecca Wiltberger Wiggins joined the U.S. Department of State (DoS) as an office management specialist after a long five-year process. She is looking forward to using her administrative and communication skills in support of American interests abroad and having many international adventures with her spouse, Stephen Wiggins ’03, and their toddler daughter, Margaret. If any current students or alumni are interested in talking about the process or work of DoS, please don’t hesitate to connect with her on LinkedIn (Rebecca Wiltberger Wiggins, Ph.D.).

Portrait of Kimberly Osee Russel Collins with her husband and new baby.

BIRTH: a son, Finn, born April 2023, to Kimberly Osee Russell Collins and her husband, Case Collins.

Portrait of Ashley LeAnn Daniels with her husband and two sons on Easter

Ashley LeAnn Daniels resides in Ewing, Va., with her husband of 12 years, Nathaniel, and their two children, Zander and Clay. She works at Lincoln Memorial University in the registrar’s office using the knowledge she gained from Berea to help make current students’ college experiences smooth and positive.

Anna Singleton Rose graduated in May 2022 with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice—Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist from the University of Kentucky. She is board certified and practices at the Lexington VA Medical Center, where she is working to revitalize cancer care for veterans.

Portrait of Ashley LePage Doss

Ashley LePage Doss started a private practice as a licensed professional clinical counselor in California in August 2023. Additionally, she is a registered art therapist. She went to Berea with art on her mind, and she majored in studio art and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art. However, while she was there, she was also a Bonner Scholar and fell in love with service. The combination of these passions, art and service, led to where she is today. Now she participates daily in her practice, assisting her clients with mental-health and overall wellness, using her creativity and zest for paying it forward. Since last giving a class note, she had another son during COVID. She also is married. She says she is blessed with her family, husband Ronnie, and two sons, Josiah and Cameron, as well as a career that truly embodies who she is and her passion for life. She wouldn’t be here without the experiences she had at Berea

Dr. Megan Rodgers Good is executive director of the Center for Assessment and Research Studies (CARS) at James Madison University.


Valerie Wilcox is the new vice president of strategic finance/controller at Service One. In this position, she is responsible for key aspects of financial management and accounting including asset and liability management, budgeting, forecasting, liquidity, investments and capital planning. Read more.

Picture of Amanda Luff holding a cake celebrating earning her Ph.D.

Amanda Luff earned her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from The Ohio State University on May 7, 2023. Amanda has started a new role as a staff scientist with Advocate Health and lives in Milwaukee, Wisc., with her husband, Duncan, and their cat, Leo.

Photo of Daryl Mangosing in his cap and gown from earning his Ph.D.

Daryl Mangosing (they/he/she) walked in the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health Commencement on May 15, 2023, for the degree of Doctor of Public Health. They are working throughout the summer to complete their dissertation titled “Sexualized Drug Use Among Sexual and Gender Diverse People in the Context of HIV/STI Prevention: A Counterpublic Health Perspective.” Mangosing has resided in the Bay Area since 2015 after moving from Boston, Mass., and is currently located in San Francisco, Calif.

Photo of Cody and Mackenzie Vaugh holding their two children

BIRTH: a second daughter, Annette Siobahn Vaughn, was born to Dr. Cody N. Vaughn and Mackenzie Endres Vaughn in July 2023.

Photo of Matthew Cape standing with representatives of Campbellsville University at his graduation

Matthew Cape graduated from Campbellsville University, in Campbellsville, Ky., on May 6, 2023, with his Master of Social Work degree. He was also inducted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society of Social Work during the hooding and pinning ceremony at Campbellsville University on May 5. Cape was approved for a Licensed Master of Social Work in Maryland on June 15, where he plans to be a therapist working with individuals who have substance-use disorders.

Weiss Mehrabi is assistant professor of politics at Centre College and one of 13 new full-time faculty. Read more.

Wedding Portrait of Rossanna Diaz and her husband, Jonathan Selby

MARRIED: Rosanna Diaz and Johnathan Selby on July 11, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. In December 2022, they were able to have a celebration of their wedding with family and friends in the beautiful Smokey Mountains. Their wedding was Christmas themed, since both love Christmas. She and John met in 2016, while she was still attending Berea. He is originally from Richmond, Ky. The couple lives in Knoxville while she finishes her doctoral dissertation in sociology at the University of Tennessee. They don’t have any children yet but do have three pets, Maxie, a small, crazy beagle, and two sweet kitties, Luna and Minerva.


Michelle Atkinson is employed by Mavi Jeans US in eCommerce and content creation for Instagram and Tik Tok. She is working in the Manhattan Garment District, living in the Sunset Park neighborhood in Brooklyn. Her page focuses on travel, food, TS13, K-pop, fashion, creative director, family and friends. See more here and here.

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