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The Quad at Augsburg University

Alumni Class Notes, Fall 2023

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Dan Bruss ’75 received the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award from Bethany Lutheran College, where he is president emeritus. Bruss is credited with leading the college’s transition to a four-year, bachelor’s degree–granting institution during his tenure as president.



Larry Morgan ’76 was presented with the Minnesota Society of CPAs’ Friend of the Association Award at their annual meeting for his help to organization members over the past 10 years. Earlier he was presented with the Lifetime Recognition Award by the Twin Cities Compensation Network. He also served on the Carlson School of Management HR/IR Alumni Board of Directors.



Luverne Seifert ’83 performed the roles of Papa and Warren T. Rat in the world premiere of “An American Tail the Musical” at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. The show was covered in the May 21 New York Times article, “Onstage in ‘An American Tail,’ a Family’s Jewishness Comes to the Fore.”



In January, Ron Huemoeller ’85 was appointed as chief executive officer for Saras Micro Devices, a provider of advanced power delivery solutions for high-performance semiconductor devices.



Stephen A. Hindle ’89 is regional vice president (Asia) of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Deutsche Bank. His work is based in Singapore.



Bill Koschak ’91 was appointed to the advisory board of Reborn Coffee Inc., a California-based retailer of specialty coffee. He is chief financial officer of Calyxt, a plant-based synthetic biotechnology company.



Sven Erlandson ’92, founder of Badass Counseling, was the guest on Episode 146 of the Good Athlete Podcast, released on January 31.

Carol Gronner ’92 is co-producer of “Unzipped: An Autopsy of American Inequality.”  The documentary focuses on the homelessness epidemic in Los Angeles and the United States and the efforts to enshrine affordable housing as a human right.



Darin Olien ’93, a plant-based exotic superfoods hunter and founder of 121 Tribe, is the TV host on the Netflix docu-series “Down to Earth With Zac Efron.” He also recently co-founded Barukas, offering a super nut from Brazil.



Dave Kerkvliet ’95 was recently named superintendent at Sebeka Public School in Sebeka, Minnesota. He was previously band director at the school for 27 years.



Ryan Aytay ’98 has been named chief executive officer of Tableau Software. He had previously been serving as Tableau’s president and chief revenue officer and retains his role of president along with his new role as CEO.

Matt Osberg ’98 was named chief financial officer and executive vice president of Apogee Enterprises.



Jennifer Grimm ’99 is the new music director of Crooners Supper Club in Fridley, Minnesota.


Ross Murray ’00, ’09 MBA and Richard Garnett ’07, ’09 MBA received extensive media attention for their hats piled high with flowers at the New York City Easter parade, including on the front page of the New York Times. Murray is author of the newly published book, “The Everyday Advocate: Living Out Your Calling to Social Justice.”

Miriam Zien-Edgar ’06, Kou Lee ’11, ’19 MAE, and Tim Binger ’11, ’21 MAL took the St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School orchestra to San Diego, running into fellow orchestra alum Suzanne Jokela ’08 along the way. Lee is the St. Louis Park middle school and high school orchestra director, a role that Zien-Edgar held from 2010 to 2018. Binger is the St. Louis Park elementary orchestra director.



Brooke Hamann ’06 and her father were the subjects of the April 14 article, “All smiles all the time: Hamann Family Dentistry still going strong” in the Perham Focus newspaper.



Rachel Engstrom ’07 earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of St. Thomas in 2021. She is co-chair of Minnesota’s Behavioral Health Planning Committee and chair of the Governance Committee for the Pro-Choice Minnesota board. She’s also applying to law school.

Erik Steen Hinderlie ’07 graduated from the University of Massachusetts—Boston with a Master of Science in urban planning and community development. He was the recipient of the Urban Planning and Community Development Graduate Program Director’s Award for Excellence for his public service in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Brad Wise ’07 was recently sworn in as sheriff of Anoka County, Minnesota. Previously he served as the Coon Rapids police chief.



Alyssa (Baumann) Ryder ’08 was promoted to senior police crime and intelligence analyst with the Duluth (Minnesota) Police Department in 2022. She also received her subject matter expert certification in call detail record and geolocation analysis.



On March 19, Kyle Soderberg ’09 was ordained as deacon of outreach and organizational development at Nativity Lutheran Church in St. Anthony, Minnesota.




Ryan Barnick ’10 MAE was selected as superintendent of the Zumbrota-Mazeppa School District in Minnesota. Previously he served as a principal with Austin Public Schools.

Chad Leonard ’10 is the new mayor of Amery, Wisconsin. He teaches business for the Osceola School District and served on the city council prior to being elected mayor.

Kelly Roselyne ’10 was promoted to executive director of finance and operations of Terrybear Urns and Memorials.



Elle Thoni ’11 received second place in the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting competition for their play “Monstrous,” which explores the post-Roe v. Wade era. They are completing an MFA in dramatic writing at Carnegie Mellon University.

Jennifer (Daniels) Umberger ’11 MBA was named vice president of marketing and communications for Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. Previously she was associate vice president of marketing and communications and chief marketing and communications officer at Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania.



Christine (Brenno) Fenner ’12 MBA is a member of a group bringing the Carver County Public Health’s Communities of Belonging initiative to Waconia, Minnesota. Their goal is to work with area residents to create a community where people are truly connected, know each other, and take care of each other.

Vickie (Hargrave) Spyhalski ’12 was appointed minister of First United Methodist Church in Austin, Minnesota.



Maren Daniels ’13 is author and illustrator of “The Elements of Art: An Elementary Art Teacher’s Guide to Color, Shape, Texture & More.” She is an elementary art teacher in South St. Paul Public Schools.

Aimee (Nguyen) Norasingh ’13 MBA was recently welcomed to United Way’s Women United Global Leadership Council. Women United is committed to advancing gender equity and expanding access to quality, affordable, educational childcare. Norasingh is a senior relationship executive with Optum Financial.



Sagal Ali ’16 was one of 20 global leaders included in Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity’s 2023 cohort. Fellows meet in-person and virtually to explore health equity topics, bolster their leadership skills, build a global community, and work with AFHE staff, faculty, and mentors. This year’s fellows were chosen from a pool of more than 400 applicants.

Muna Mohamed ’16 was featured in the May 27 Star Tribune story, “Basketball led Muna Mohamed to create activewear for Muslim women and girls.” Her modest activewear brand, Kalsoni, is now sold by retailers such as REI.



Alexis Halvorson ’17 is head coach of the girls’ lacrosse team at Northfield High School in Northfield, Minnesota.



The novel, “Blue Lake,” by Jeffrey Boldt ’19 MFA received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and won an award for 2022 Best of Indie Press.



Jojo (Khadijo) Abdi ’20 MFA is teaching screenwriting at Metro State University. She recently served as guest journalist for The Forum on Workplace Inclusion. She also has studio space in Midtown Global Market for a new project based on interviews in the community.

Jimmy Aguilar ’20 is new co-director of diversity and inclusion for AIGA Minnesota, a professional association for people working in the field of design, including graphic design and web design.



Karina Kafka ’21 has made a film called “A Mother’s Love.” This 26-minute documentary focuses on missing and murdered Indigenous women through the story of one mother’s search for her daughter.

Simon Redstone ’21 recently directed a short film called “Sister Diane” and accepted a position working in the film/marketing/advertising industry.



Alexa (Turcios) Carrera ’22, a student in the Master of Science in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy program at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, was featured in the April 21 University of Minnesota news story, “An advocate for energy justice.”

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