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Class Notes—Spring 2014

Doug Mello
Doug Mello

Notables:

Carroll (Mont.) College named Siena Heights Athletic Hall-of-Famer Doug Mello ’86/MA the school’s first men’s soccer head coach in March 2014. Mello has coached a national collegiate record 1,154 soccer matches (men’s and women’s combined) and has won over 700 games (712-384-58 overall). Mello helped start both the men’s and women’s programs at Siena Heights as well as at Luther (Iowa) College. In his six years as the Saints’ men’s coach, Mello led Siena Heights to five district titles, one regional championship and their first appear- ance at the NAIA national championship tournament in 1985. After starting the women’s program in 1986, Mello’s team won three district titles and were nationally ranked from 1986-88. In his final season in 1988, the women’s team was ranked first in the country and made its first appearance at the NAIA national tournament, where they placed third.

Connie Binsfeld
Connie Binsfeld

Former Michigan Lt. Gov. Connie Berube Binsfeld ’45, the first woman to hold leadership posts in Michigan’s House, Senate and executive branch, passed away Jan. 12, 2014. She was 89. Binsfeld was a 1945 Siena Heights graduate who got her start in politics by serving in student government during the war years of 1941-45. According to an Associated Press article, Binsfeld championed chil-dren’s issues during her time in politics, serving in the state House and Senate before becoming a two-term lieutenant governor under John Engler from 1990-98. According to the AP, the former schoolteacher was first elected to the House in 1974 and won a Senate seat in 1982. During her time in politics she led the fight to ban surrogate pregnancy for pay, sponsored bills on domestic violence and protection of environmentally sensitive sand dunes and served 10 years on the Great Lakes Commission, according to the AP. She wrote in the 1945 Siena Heights yearbook, “The Valiant Woman,” that, “We face a chaotic world that has wandered far from standards of Christianity, a world where modern sophistication has supplanted virtuous life. The motive of hate has replaced the driving force of love and a greed for power has caused individual and national strife. Man in the shadow of confusion is groping blindly for security. The security he seeks unknowingly is the priceless gift that we possess. We rise to the challenge that is offered and face the future unafraid. We shall go forth with the torch of truth lifted high.”

From The Sites:

SHU—Benton Harbor

2010
Felix Clarke is currently employed as a mechanical planner with Constellation Energy Nuclear Group. He and his wife, Tamara, and their three children live in Great Mills, Md.

SHU—Monroe

2013
Jeff Evans was promoted from fire marshal to fire chief at the Trenton (Mich.) Fire Department in Novem-ber 2013. Evans has worked as a firefighter more than 20 years at the Trenton and Riverview (Mich.) fire departments, and is certified in fire inspection and investigation. He also is a state certified paramedic.

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Class Notes—Fall 2013

Eric Walter
Eric Walter

Notables:

Eric Walter ’05 set a couple of joggling Guinness world records at O’Laughlin Stadium in April 2013. Joggling is running while juggling. He ran 1,000 meters on the SHU track in a record time of 2:46.63. The time to beat was 3 minutes flat. In the 400 meter he ran a 56.47 (57.32 was the old record). Walter also won the 200, 400, 800 and the 4×100 relay at the 2011 World Joggling Championships in Rochester, Minn.

Sister Donna Kustusch, OP
Sister Donna Kustusch, OP

Sister Donna Kustusch, OP, ’63 a long-time faculty member at SHU, passed away in July 2013. “Donna’s determination came from her deep commitments—to her students and to the mission of Siena Heights; to her sisters and to the mission of the congregation; to the call of the gospel for a preferential option for the poor; and to her prayer relationship with God,” said SHU Vice President of Academic Affairs Sister Sharon Weber, OP, a former colleague. A faculty member in the Religious Studies program from 1975-92, she had the challenge of bringing the curriculum to a new generation of students. For her enthusiasm in the classroom and her concern for the growth of each of her students, she received the award for outstanding teaching in 1991.

She also established the Spirituality and Peacemaking Institute in 1988. The institute provided such offerings as a variety of lectures in collaboration with Weber Center, prayer opportunities for students and a conference “Dominican Education in Search of Peace.” Her commitment to the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ vision of acting on behalf of the poor drew her to her work on the U.S.-Mexico border. In fact, she received the Sister Ann Joachim Award in 2002 for her work serving impoverished women and children in Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.

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Class Notes—Spring 2013

From The Sites:

SHU—Battle Creek

Rob Viland ’97 was recently named executive vice president of Business Development for Post Community Credit Union. He has more than 20 years of financial institution experience. He lives
in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Timothy Bourgeois '98
Timothy Bourgeois '98

Timothy Bourgeois ’98 will represent local law enforcement after being appointed to a four-year term on the 14-member Mental Health Diversion Council by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. The council will operate within the Michigan Department of Community Health. His term will expire Jan. 30, 2017. With more than 35 years of law enforcement experience, he currently is the chief of police for the Charter Township of Kalamazoo.

SHU—Lansing

Tom Cochran ’10 was elected to the Michigan state legislature during the November 2012 elections. He will serve as state representative for the 67th District. He resides in Mason, Mich

Misozi Houston ’12 and her husband, Anthony, announced the birth of a daughter, Lily, who was born July 4, 2012. The family recently relocated to Pennsylvania.

SHU—Southfield

Suzy Manning ’91, ’95/MA is a radio talk show personality on the Military Mom Talk Radio network. She is also the creator of Sizzzl, a motivational counseling program for women, and also the author of “Wise Women-Circle of Wisdom” and “You Were Born Magnificent.” The transitional coach and speaker also has the web site www.sizzzl.com.

Steven Aggas ’95 has carved out an impressive career in the engineering field. He currently owns 22 patents, and designed and built Arizona’s largest, privately owned telescope. He also is founder/director of Apache-Sitgreaves Astrophysics, and astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey named an asteroid after him that is recognized by the International Astronomical Union. The name of the asteroid is 152533 Aggas (2007 AL26). He said completing his Siena Heights degree “made all the difference.” He currently lives in Gold Canyon, Ariz.

Donna Cole ’97 recently received her Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Michigan. While attending Michigan she received the Margaret Dow Towsley Scholarship from the Center for the Education of Women. She currently resides in Highland, Mich.

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