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Alumni News & Notes: Summer 2021

May – August


Don Nutt, ’50, turned 100 years old on May 30, 2021. Don and his lovely wife, Ruth Ann, ’50, celebrated this milestone with their family members.

Dr. Richard Soulen, ’54, hosts a podcast called On Theology and Scripture for the Inquiring Mind and can be found at


Carol (Mandernack) Bartlett, ’65, recently retired as a reference librarian and genealogy specialist.

Peg Nichols, ’69, wrote her most recent book about COVID-19. Peg’s creation Sidewalk Sale Across America is about a small-business plan for how to beat COVID and set the world on a renewed course of hope, promise, and opportunity.


Martha Harris, ’79, ’14 MLA, was named the 2020-21 Heart of America Athletic Conference Faculty Athletics Representative of the Year. Harris is also a longtime accounting professor at Baker University.

Don, ’70, and Sue (Wyrick) Larkin, ’70, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Glendale, Arizona, in June 2021.

Karen (Horvath) Odgers, ’72, retired in June 2021 after working at Pittsburg High School for more than 22 years as secretary to the athletic director.

Gary Scott, ’77, retired from teaching, coaching, and serving Parks and Recreation after 40 years in the profession. He also volunteers with the Senior Wheels program in Douglas County, Harvesters, and the food pantry in Eudora, Kansas.

Becky (Milloy) Vrbas, ’78, serves as a supervisor in Baker University’s master’s program in school leadership. Through the directed field experience program, she mentors teachers who want to be principals.


Tim Brady, ’84, was named director of human resources in the Olathe Public School System.

Jack Fahrnow, ’88, is honored to help lead the Olathe Police Department as Deputy Chief Fahrnow.

Janet (Jones) Goodenow, ’81, was appointed to serve a three-year term on the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing by Governor Kelly in April 2021.

Kelly Steller Hrad, ’86, was commissioned to create a painting in the new Louis Vuitton store in the Legacy West Shopping Center in Plano, Texas. Her work can be seen at

Erin Sparks, ’89, was retained by the Office of Cultural Affairs to design lighting for three shows in the 2021-22 season of the Rainbow Youth Theater Company—Never Ending Story, The Velveteen Rabbit, and Matilda: The Musical.

Nancy Vap, ’89, grows pumpkins for breast cancer research and creates potions for holistic remedies delivered through skin balms. She sells them through her online store, Nancy’s Pumpkins & Potions.


Molly (Hunt) Anderson, ’99, received the Jennie Howell Kopke and Verde R. Kopke Award for Distinguished Teaching at Baker University. Anderson teaches Chemistry.

Col. Regena Aye, ’94, ’16 EdD, was chosen to serve as the national vice commander for the Civil Air Patrol.

Mike Butaud, ’90, is honored to help lead the Olathe Police Department as Chief Butaud.

Martha Johaningsmeir, ’90, works in Springfield, Missouri, as a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) certified medical assistant for Burrell Behavioral Health.


Toni (Jenkins) Cook, ’07 MAED, serves as the director of special services in the Liberty Public School District of Missouri.

Mark DeSchepper, ’03, was elected to a two-year term as the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association’s secretary and treasurer.

Nikki Pauls DeSimone, ’03, serves as an assistant professor of social work in the BSW program at Park University in Parkville, Missouri.

Derek Doerfler, ’09, will be inducted into the Baker Athletic Hall of Fame on October 1, 2021.

Pedro dos Santos, ’04, is the coauthor of Women’s Empowerment and Disempowerment in Brazil: The Rise and Fall of President Dilma Rousseff. It was published in 2021 by Temple University Press. See book description.

Andrew Hannon, ’09, was featured online as part of a mobility campaign with adidas. Hannon is a golf fitness specialist in Phoenix, Arizona.

Moira Ozias, ’01, was recently hired to serve as assistant professor of educational policy studies and practice in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. She is also serving as the director of research and scholarship for ACPA – College Student Educators International.

Stacey (Proffitt) Telgren, ’08 MAED, started her fifth year in the 4PLUS after high school transition program for 18- to 21-year-old people who are blind and visually impaired.

Ryan Vickery, ’04, ’12 MSSL, serves as an emergency room nurse at Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence, Missouri.

Kendra (Scarbrough) Williams, ’09, published her first children’s book, Learning with Kelsey Mac. View book description.


The following alumni will be inducted into the Baker Athletic Hall of Fame on October 1, 2021: Mack Brown, ’10, Richie Bryant, ’10, Matt Griffin, ’11, and Aubree (Gustin) Taylor, ’11.

Sheryl Baker, ’17 MLA, is helping to serve leading implementation of a new Ascension National Care Management model for managed care at Ascension Via Christi – Wichita.

Brett Bruner, ’17 EdD, was named the assistant vice president for student affairs and enrollment management/dean of students at Missouri Western State University.

Ashley Dixon, ’18, is a proud team member of Clark Construction, which is helping to build the new KCI airport terminal in Kansas City.

Jenna (Brantley) Erdmann, ’11, and her husband had a daughter, Ava Elise, in March. They reside in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mike Gillman, ’06 MLA, ’15 MSSL, serves as the assistant principal and athletic director for Lawrence High School.

Lindsay (Schultz) Gulbranson, ’10, serves as an academic writing specialist for graduate students at The Art of Education University, where she has opportunities to interact with students while building a writing center and helping to scaffold the curriculum to support students’ writing craft.

Justin Hill, ’12, serves as the director of operations for track and field and cross country at Emporia State University.

Samer Jassar, ’13, was a key component in the championship run for the NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks.

Tim Laughlin, ’10, and his wife had a daughter, Lyla Belle, in January 2021.

Brett Potts, ’10 EdD, serves as the assistant superintendent of secondary education in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Rebecca (Simkins) Randall, ’17, started her own private counseling practice, Rebecca Randall Counseling, in Overland Park, Kansas. It’s open to individuals, couples, adolescents, and families.

Kenny Rodrequez, ’17 EdD, serves as the superintendent in the Grandview C-4 School District. He recently earned the NSPRA Communication Technology Award for his ability to connect and build positive relationships with students and the local Grandview community through social media. Dr. Rodrequez was selected as a Pearce Award Nominee by his peers in the Greater Kansas City Missouri region and represents the Missouri Association of School Administrators on the advocacy board through the American Association of School Administrators.

Andre Smith, ’17 MBA, serves as the program director at Premier Martial Arts in Lawrence, Kansas, and also teaches introductory lessons.

Elizabeth Stover, ’17, was recently named the head girls softball coach at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kansas.

Hakeem Young, ’12, is a teacher at Spanaway Lake High School in the Bethel School District near, Tacoma, Washington. He was recently named Pierce County Girls Wrestling Head Coach of the Year.

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