Class Notes

Class Notes


Diane Cline Myers, BS’73 (Elementary Education), MS’78 (Special Education) has had a full career as an educator, beginning at Horizon Learning Center in Elkhart. She worked as a special education teacher and elementary education teacher in many of the Elkhart Community Schools. After receiving her principal’s licensure in 1997 in the State of Indiana, she served as principal at Mary Feeser Elementary School for eight years. After retiring in 2007, Myers followed in the footsteps of her father, Donald Cline, who was a professor at IU South Bend, and embarked on a second career as an assistant professor of education at Bethel College where she has taught for nine years.

Jeff Urband, BA’74 (Piano), having been a pianist, musical director, conductor, and accompanist to Bonnie Raitt, John Raitt, Miss America, and other Broadway performers and cabaret artists, has completed his 78th marathon and is looking forward to running the Chicago Marathon in October. He is currently composing an original musical for stage to be recorded and performed this fall in Los Angeles.

Dave McCarthy, BS’75 (Accounting), and MSBA’83 has purchased a condo in South Bend to spend summers with his kids and grandkids during his retirement. During the rest of the year, he lives in Ocala, Fla., where he relocated from Chicago. He looks forward to reconnecting with other alumni.


Jessie Blake-Whitaker, BS’82 (Public Affairs), MSW’06, has been with Career Academy South Bend, the first charter school for high school students in the area, as a school social worker since its opening in August 2011. Blake-Whitaker is one of only seven employees who have remained since the school opened. After earning her BS in 1982, she pursued a Master in Science Administration at the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 1989. She returned to IU South Bend in 2003 for her MSW degree and completed the program at age 52. She had to wait a few years for her dream job, but she is very happy to say that it’s a job well worth the wait. She loves every minute spent with her students at Career Academy.

Charlene Harris Allen, BA’ 8 3 (Communication Arts and Theatre and Drama), was called into ministry work in 2001 and has been a pastor since 2003. She began leading worship through song in 1996, and, encouraged by her pastors and bishop, she attended Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Charlene was ordained in 2009 and has served three congregations. She is currently at Monroe United Methodist Church, just south of Fort Wayne, Ind.

Charles “Mike” Settles, BS’85 (Business Management and Administration), is serving as pastor of Claypool United Methodist Church in Claypool, Ind.

Kathleen Kennedy, MS’88 (Secondary Education), is now the managing editor for the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ). She currently works at the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) at the University of Notre Dame. Under CREO director Prof. Mark Berends, Kennedy managed the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA) for the three-year term for editors starting in 2013 and was asked to take the AERJ managing editor position once it was determined that the journal would be housed at Notre Dame.


Marg De Roo, AGS’90, BS’92 (English Education), MS’96 (Education), recently published her book Where Your Child Goes to School Does Matter, available for purchase via Amazon, which aims to provide parents with the information they need to choose the best school for their children. Having worked nationally as a teacher, an administrator, and a consultant on teaching and learning, building schools, and school improvement, De Roo currently is president of DRD Educational Impact in northwest Indiana, which specializes in academic coaching and consulting. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2001. She has fond memories of IU South Bend and credits Marie Doyle, professor of reading methods, for being her inspiration while she was on campus. De Roo maintains an office in Dyer, Ind., and is able to now work with students and families as an academic coach and counselor.

Catherine L. Raven, BS’93 (Management and Administration, Accounting), and Kenneth E. Miller were united in marriage on Saturday, May 14, 2016, during a Carnival Magic cruise at Port Canaveral, Fla. Attending were the families of Christina L. (Raven) German and Charles Eugene Miller. The couple is thankful to two dozen friends who also attended, many who sailed away with the couple and family into the Caribbean sunset for a 7-day cruise. Raven worked most recently for Crowe Horwath LLP, and Miller is a firefighter for Clay Fire Territory in St. Joseph County, Ind. The couple resides in Edwardsburg, Mich.

Christine Petersen-Grosse, BA’94 (Sociology), applied to graduate school after graduation with encouragement from her professors at IU South Bend. Petersen- Grosse was accepted to each school she applied to and received a full ride and monthly stipend from the University of Notre Dame. She graduated from Notre Dame with a Master of Sociology in 1998. After her graduation, she worked 16 years for Housing and Urban Development running a Family Self-Sufficiency program. During her time there, she was able to help 24 families get homes, which she remains very proud of to this day. She has recently been working tirelessly at a cat rescue in Elkhart, Ind., called Here Kitty Kitty Rescue. She writes their grant applications, helps clean the rescues, give medicines, and socializes the kittens so they are ready to go to a forever home. She encourages everyone to attend their fundraising events and once-a-month adoption events to help out a good cause.

Jeffrey Hemmes, BS’97 (Computer Science), retired from the United States Air Force after a 24-year military career. He served four years in the Marine Corps prior to attending IU South Bend, and after graduation, he served 20 years in the Air Force as a cyber operations officer. He has recently relocated to Denver, Colo., from Colorado Springs for his new position as assistant professor of Computer Science at Regis University.


Linda M. (Edgerton) Wise, BS’00 (Elementary Education), was honored with the Heart of Education Award, one of the highest honors a teacher can receive in the Clark County School District in Nevada, on April 29, 2017. This award recognizes “educators who go above and beyond to put kids first and not only teach, but also inspire . . . [and who] work tirelessly and never ask for recognition.” Currently at Rex Bell Elementary School, Wise has taught first and second grade in Las Vegas, Nev., for nine years. She is also a cooperating teacher for ARL (Alternative Route to Licensing) teachers and student teachers from University of Nevada Las Vegas. She thanks her wonderful teachers at IU South Bend for starting her off with the education she needed to succeed. They are her inspiration for passing along the legacy.

Steve Henn, BA’03 (English), recently had his third book of poetry published by IU South Bend’s own Wolfson Press. His book, Indiana Noble Sad Man of the Year, was designed by current IU South Bend student Sky Santiago, who expertly chose artwork by Henn’s children to complement the poems. Henn’s primary editor was IU South Bend Professor of English Joe Chaney. Additionally Henn has had two books of poetry published previously by NYQBooks.

Jerri Dunn, MSW’04, recently began a new position with SCAN, Inc., in South Bend, as the clinical supervisor. Dunn and her significant other, Rob Adams, reside in the South Bend area.

Christopher Winchell, BS’04 (Mathematical Education) , has been appointed superintendent of the Union County/College Corner Joint School District.

Dianne Frances de Guzman Powell, BA’06 (Mass Communications), recently joined the Office of Marketing and Communications at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with responsibilities in social media, digital communications, and media relations. She previously worked as a reporter for the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute, Ind. She was recognized by the Hoosier State Press Association for Second Best News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure (Breaking News) for her story covering an August 2015 leak at Hydrite Chemical Co.

Carmen Dielman, BGS’09, BS’09 (Dental Hygiene), MLS’12 (Liberal Studies), earned her Doctorate of Health Sciences with a concentration in global health from Nova Southeastern University in September 2016. She developed a global health online course for her practicum and taught the course in the fall of 2016 for IU South Bend. She began teaching in the IU South Bend Dental Education Department as an adjunct in the fall of 2009 and was made full-time faculty in the fall of 2010. This coming fall, Dielman will be the coordinator for the new online program for the Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Sciences for the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences at IU South Bend.

Megan E. Porter, MEd’09 (Educational Counseling), completed her Master of Social Work with a concentration in health from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2016. She completed her internship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital where she worked on the Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Unit as well as two-week clinical rotations with other hospital units. She currently works for Fresenius Medical Care as a renal social worker. Her MEd has been an added bonus in her career working with patients and their families. She resides in Westfield, Ind.


Andrea Jones, BA’10 (Psychology), earned her PhD in aging studies from Tulane University in 2016. Her focus was on the neurobiology of learning and memory across the lifespan. Jones is now a postdoctoral appointee at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis in the pharmacology and toxicology department where she works in Patrick Sheets’ laboratory mapping the neural circuits of chronic neuropathic pain in the brain.

Danielle Wilborn, BFA’11 (Fine Arts), has been awarded a practicing artist scholarship to attend the Americans for the Arts National Conference for the second year in a row. This year’s conference focuses on using the arts to create and sustain vibrant and liveable communities and is being held in San Francisco, Calif., from June 15 to 17. She will also attend the Indiana Arts Commission’s conference for Creative Placemaking in Indianapolis, Ind., from June 8–9.

Katie Neece, BFA’13 (Fine Arts), was recently accepted to the University of Notre Dame’s Master of Fine Arts program for painting. Her painting Chasm is being shown in the Northern Indiana Artists 75th Anniversary show at the Midwest Museum of American Art in Elkhart, Ind., April 7–July 16, 2017.

Dr. Patrick Stevens, BS’13 (Biological Sciences), and his wife Aubrey M. Stevens BA’13 (Anthropology and Spanish), have relocated back to the South Bend area for Patrick’s residency at Lakeland Health in St. Joseph, Mich. Patrick recently completed his medical degree at Campbell University’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine in North Carolina. Aubrey recently completed a Master of Science in Spanish for the Professions at Minnesota State University Mankato and currently works as a community health coordinator with Beacon Community Health at Memorial Hospital and will start the MBA program in the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics this fall. They are thankful to their professors and advisors at IU South Bend whose support gave them the resiliency to engage with their studies and campus life as nontraditional students.

Phil Suphal, BGS’13, received the February 2017 Wonderful Outstanding Worker (WOW) Award from the IU South Bend Bi-Weekly Staff Council. This award is presented to a nominated Bi-Weekly employee who exhibits dedication and outstanding performance at IU South Bend. Suphal was nominated by his colleagues, who praise him and for his excellent customer service.

Greg Monberg, MBA’15, has joined Wightman & Associates (WAI) as director of the company’s Architecture Studio. He comes to WAI from the Oakbrook, Illinoisbased office of Fanning Howey where he built a 22-year architecture, planning, and design career. Since 2009, he served as director of design research, overseeing design, master planning, scope, scheduling, and budget management. As a member of the Association for Learning Environments, Monberg is the Area 3 Governor for the Midwest Great Lakes Region where he received the Outstanding Service Award in 2014. He also serves on the Accredited Learning Environment Planner Commission responsible for governing A4LE’s ALEP credential, the most comprehensive professional program in the educational facility planning industry.

Nicole (Labuzienski) Perry, BS’15 (Elementary Education), now teaches special education at Pinewood Elementary School. Perry loves her job, and she is so thankful to IU South Bend and the wonderful professors she had throughout her undergraduate career who helped her fulfill her dreams of becoming a teacher. She was married last summer, and her students are happy her last name is now easier to pronounce. Perry will be attending graduate school through Purdue University to further her goal of becoming a principal someday. Go Titans!

Alexa Szybowicz, BS’15 (Marketing/ Advertising), has joined Elkhart-based Dicor Corp. as a marketing specialist.

Kaley Escobedo, BS’16 (Criminal Justice), and Austin Coy are engaged to be married on September 2, 2017, at St. Monica’s Catholic Church in Mishawaka. Coy is employed at Hardwoods, Inc., as an inventory specialist, and Escobedo is employed at Howe Military Academy. They both live in Elkhart.

Amanda “Mandy” Hancock, BSN’16 earned her degree in December 2016. While completing her capstone class at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, she was offered a position in their Emergency Department. Hancock accepted and began her new position in January 2017.

Lawrence Mitchell-Matthews, BA’16 (Voice), is starring in Southern Methodist University’s opera The Elixir of Love as Belcore this season. He recently toured Germany with an ensemble called Spiritual Voice and sang spirituals all around the country. This summer he will be traveling to the Amalfi Coast in Italy to sing in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, most likely as the title role.