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Alumni Notes: Spring 2017


Cheryl Brown Henderson, ’70, was unanimously confirmed as a member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Board of Directors.


Alex Gonzalez, ’83, was named the chief marketing officer for Leisure Pools and Spas Manufacturing. He leads branding and marketing and is responsible for development of new corporate showrooms and for expansion of the international network of professional dealers for the world’s largest producer of fiberglass pools, spas, and water elements.

Philip Gronemeyer, ’81, creates unique woodworking and handcrafted gifts for his Gronemeyer Gallery shop. His creations can be seen at

Gwenn Pike, ’80, was selected as a 2016 National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association for her work with the volleyball team at Bishop Miege High School in Fairway, Kansas. A member of Baker’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Pike recently retired from a 36-year coaching career at Bishop Miege that included more 2,100 match wins and 21 state championships.

Steve Robertson, ’86, was named Kansas City Interscholastic Administrators Association Athletic Director of the Year. He was honored at the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association conference. Robertson has been a teacher and coach in the Grandview School District for 29 years and served as the athletic director for the last 14 years.


Diane Cooper, ’92 BBA, ’95 MBA, was appointed to the BMO Financial Corporation Board of Directors.

Russell Evans, MBA ’94, was named to the national board of directors for Gift of Adoption, a nonprofit charitable organization that provides financial assistance to complete both domestic and international adoptions.

Rob Maher, ’94, was selected as a 2016 Best of the Bar honoree for his work as an attorney at McDowell, Rice, Smith & Buchanan PC.

Emily Neufeld Grant, ’97, had her paper, “Helicopter Professors,” published by the Social Science Research Network. She is an associate professor at Washburn University School of Law.


Sarah Lucero, ’09, was recently recognized by TK Business Magazine on its Topeka’s Top 20 Under 40 outstanding young professionals list. Lucero serves as the principal of Scott Dual Language School. Scott is the only school in Kansas to receive an International School of Excellence in Spanish award. It has been named a State of Kansas Success Showcase School and a National School of Improvement (IndiStar) Spotlight.

McKenzie Lueders, ’08, was a Dodge City Public Schools USD 443 Kansas Teacher of the Year nominee for secondary education.

Eric Moon, ’03, joined the vibrant start-up company Amaranth Medical, Inc. in Mountain View, California, as a laser engineer involved in making bioresorbable heart stents.

Blake Reynolds, ’03, was named the head coach of the Fort Hayes State University women’s soccer team. Reynolds previously served as an assistant coach for Baker’s men’s and women’s soccer teams from 2007 to 2009.

Brandon Scarborough, ’02, was hired as senior vice president of Cobbs Allen of Kansas City, an insurance and risk management firm. Scarborough has also served as a member of the Baker University Board of Trustees since 2011.

Jana Tenbrink, ’08, was recently recognized by TK Business Magazine on its Topeka’s Top 20 Under 40 outstanding young professionals list. Tenbrink serves as the nurse manager of medical critical care, rapid response, and intermediate care at Stormont Vail Health. She provides leadership and guidance to staff nurses, charge nurses, and patient care technicians.


Brittany Gapter, ’15, was accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Wichita State University.

Olivia Hernandez, BA ’11, created the video “material girl halleluja,” which was named the overall short film work-in-progress at the CreActive International Open Film Festival in Bangladesh in August.

Trey McGuire, ’16, was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps after a successful college football career.

Andrew Miller, ’16, was named an assistant coach of the boys soccer team at Olathe West High School. Miller played soccer for four years at Baker and received the NAIA Champions of Character award in 2014 and 2015. He has also coached and mentored young soccer players through Sporting Blue Valley and the Special Olympics.

Charlotte Parker, Honorary Alumna ’15, celebrated her very youthful 80th birthday with a party at the Topeka Country Club in December.

Enedina Patch, ’14 MBA, was recently recognized by TK Business Magazine on its Topeka’s Top 20 Under 40 outstanding young professionals list. Patch serves as program manager of palliative medicine and supportive care at Stormont Vail Health, where she and her team provide care for patients with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses. She also has developed clinical services to support patients over 55.

Special Bond

Nikki Armbruster Deal, ’10, MBA ’16. Baldwin City had a similar feel to her hometown of Lindsborg, Kansas, and was a comfortable choice. But choosing a major was more difficult until she took her first sociology class, and Dr. Jacob Bucher became her academic advisor.

As a sociology major, Deal appreciated that in addition to the normal course work, faculty also prepared her and other students for the demands of graduate school, including the application process.

So when Deal decided to go back to school and earn a graduate degree, she not only felt prepared, but she also knew she wanted to enroll somewhere that was close to her heart. She decided to attend Baker University once again.

“I was just comfortable with Baker because it was something familiar. I had a very positive experience during my undergraduate years, so I figured that I would have a positive experience going through Baker for my master’s as well,” she said.

Deal and Dr. Bucher stayed in touch throughout her graduate program. When she attended his “Last Lecture” in May 2016, engaged to her fiance, Jesse, Deal was reminded of how much passion and preparation Bucher put into his lectures. So the couple decided to ask Bucher to officiate their wedding.

“I figured he’s lectured me on just about everything else, so why not marriage?” she asked. “I thought Dr. Bucher might think it was a strange request. But it turned out he loved the idea and really wanted to do it!”

The couple was married in October of 2016. Just a couple of months later, in December, she graduated with her Master of Business Administration. And when the time came for her to walk across the commencement stage and receive her diploma, Dr. Bucher was there to cheer her on and to participate in her hooding.

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