Class Notes

Class Notes are compiled from information sent in personally by alumni and from news releases. If you would like to share your news, go to or mail to UNI Alumni Association, 304 Commons, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0284.

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From May 15, 2021, to July 22, 2022


'49 Lois (Landon) Wishmeyer, 2 yr Cert., Cedar Falls, IA, was named one of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier's 8 Over 80 for 2022.


'70 Lyle Luckow, BA, Grimes, IA, retired after more than 32 years as a claims adjuster and litigation specialist at Hawkeye Security Insurance and more than nine years as a legal administrator at Whitfield and Edy Law Firm.


'84 Charisse (Brown) Gillett, BA, MA '87, Versailles, KY, was elected to the Transylvania University board of trustees, appointed by the Kentucky governor to serve on the Kentucky African American History Commission and celebrated 10 years as president of Lexington Theological Seminary.

'85 Troy Becker, BA, MA '90, MA '00, ASC '08, Cedar Falls, IA, was named the 2021-2022 Northeast District High School Athletic Director of the Year by the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association.

'85 Lori (Weydert) Engel, BA, MA '88, Cedar Falls, IA, received the 2022 Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is a special education teacher at Peet Junior High. 

'85 Susie (McIntee) Schwieger, MA, Waterloo, IA, retired from UNI in Aug. 2021. She worked in career services for 18 years and was the director of graduate student life from 2007-2021.


'95 Jennifer (Erbe) Kennedy, BA, Athens, AL, received the 2022 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She is the STEM specialist at SPARK Academy at Cowart Elementary School.

'97 Jennifer (Cameron) Paulsen, MA, Cedar Falls, IA, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Iowa Council of Teachers of English. She is a teacher at Holmes Junior High.

'99 Kyle Palmer, BA, Liberty, MO, published a book titled "Parentships in a PLC at Work ®: Forming and Sustaining School Home Relationships With Families."


'01 Jane (Wildeboer) Castings, BA, Cedar Falls, IA, received the 2022 Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is a media specialist at Orange Elementary in Waterloo.

'01 Jeremy Jones, BA, MA '11, ASC '11, Cedar Falls, IA, was named the 2022 Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa. He is the principal of Holmes Junior High School.

'01 Sammy Spann, MA, Toledo, OH, is vice president of student affairs and dean of students at the University of Toledo.

'03 Melissa Anne Matz, BA, Florida, was named the Florida's 2023 Teacher of the Year. 

'04 Jaimen Pangborn, BA, Cedar Rapids, IA, was named one of the Corridor Business Journal's 40 under 40 for 2021. She is the director of program development with the Zach Johnson Foundation.

'04 Ashley (Atherton) Thompson, BA, Ames, was selected by the Des Moines Business Record as one of the 2022 Forty Under 40 honorees. She is director of government and external affairs with UnityPoint Health Systems.

'05 Dawn Boone, BA, BA '20, Waterloo, IA, received the 2022 Gold Star Award for Teaching. She is a third grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Waterloo.

'07 Nicholas Rhoads, BA, Cedar Falls, IA, received the 2022 Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching. He is a fifth grade teacher at Southdale Elementary.

'08 Dan Black, BM, MA '17, ASC '18, Council Bluffs, IA,  was named the 2022 Licensed Staff Member of the Year for Council Bluffs Community School District. He is the orchestra director at Abraham Lincoln High School and Kirn Middle School.

'08 Eric Hrubes, BA, MA '10, Cedar Rapids, IA, was promoted to director of partnerships at CLC under Learfield IMG College.

'09 Alexis (Persson) Denton, BA, ASC '18, Waukee, was named principal at Oak Park


'10 Amanda (Firman) Lynch, BA, Cedar Falls, IA, was named one of the Cedar Valley's 20 under 40 by the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for 2021. She is the director of fortified life with Western Home Communities.

'10 Lydia (Van Der Beek) Zerby, BA, Ames, IA, is the consumer insights and engagement manager with the Iowa Soybean Association and leads the Iowa Food & Family Project.

'11 Jenny Gibbs, BA, MA '13, Phoenix, AZ, is a delivery manager for Workiva.'15 Alyssa Turcsak, BA, Lansing, MI, is the outreach coordinator and consultant support specialist at Nonprofit Network.

'15 Daniel Vorwerk, BA, MA '17, North Liberty, IA, is the event and communication project specialist for international programs at the University of Iowa.

'18 Karlene (Izer) Clark, BA, Galena, IL, is a sexual assault and domestic violence advocate with Riverview Center.


'21 Val Loewenberg, MA, Asbury, was named principal of the new fully online school for grades 6-12 in the Dubuque Community School District effective for the 2022-2023 school year.