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Class Notes—Fall 2015

Notables:

Carolyn Alford
Carolyn Alford

Carolyn Alford ’08 (Battle Creek) received the Kalamazoo YMCA Lifetime Woman of Achievement Award in May 2015. Alford, a longtime official and community leader, is “a devoted member of the Kalamazoo community and has spent her life working toward the betterment of others through services,” according to the award description. “As a mentor and advocate for so many individuals, Carolyn’s dedication to those impacted by poverty, racism or any other form of social or economic marginalization has served as an example for all to follow.” Alford served on the Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education for 16 years, and also served four terms on the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners. She is also past recipient of NAACP Humanitarian of the Year Award (2010) and the YMCA Woman of Achievement Award (2007).

Tod Marshall
Tod Marshall

Tod Marshall ’90 was named to a two-year term as Gonzaga University’s Robert K. and Ann J. Powers Professor Chair of the Humanities. The Powers chair is awarded to “an outstanding teacher-scholar in the area of history, philosophy, language or literature,” according to the university. Marshall was also the 2015 recipient of the Humanities Washington Award, which each year honors two individuals or organizations whose efforts “reflect the spirit and programs of Humanities Washington.” His book of poetry, “Bugle,” won the Washington State Book Award. Marshall, who is in his 16th year of teaching at Gonzaga, founded and continues to curate the university’s visiting writer’s series. He said, “I know that much of my success if due to the blessings I received at Siena from Sister Hogan, Sister Schnapp, Sister Hall, Mary Weeber, Mark Schersten and others. I love that place; I love the people.”

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Tribute to Jennifer Hamlin Church

Jennifer Hamlin Church
Jennifer Hamlin Church

SHU Alumni Director for 20 years

Editor’s Note: Longtime Director of Alumni Relations and Associate Vice President of Advancement Jennifer Hamlin Church retired in November 2015 after more than 20 years at Siena Heights University. As a special sendoff, Reflections asked a few of her past and present colleagues to pen some personal words of tribute.


Deb Carter
Deb Carter

Deborah Carter ’15 / Hon. – Retired Dean of the College for Professional Studies

‘Classy’ and ‘elegant’ are two words that come to mind when I think of Jennifer Hamlin Church. Her elegance comes through in her beautiful writing, and she is well aware that well-crafted language has the power to evoke powerful emotional responses, make people feel that they belong, provide meaning and further Siena’s mission. The first time I heard the ‘Voices of Siena’ I knew the beautifully crafted pieces were written by Jennifer. It was my pleasure to organize two book signings for her first book, So Much to Live For, A Memoir of Love, Loss and Living On.

Jennifer understands the importance of relationship building in Alumni Relations, and developed personal connections with alums which deepened their feelings of connection to Siena. Jennifer transformed the outreach to students and alumni of Siena Heights University’s off-campus sites, creating the hugely successful annual holiday event on the west side of the state. She added off-campus graduates to the Alumni Board, and turned the conversation toward creative ways of engaging off-campus students.

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Screen Play

SHU Student Nate Adams Is Making a Name for Himself as a Movie Reviewer

Nate Adams ’17 has been a movie buff since childhood. Now, the Siena Heights University junior theater major is The Movie Buff.

He currently has a budding career as an Internet movie reviewer. After starting a movie review blog in high school, his web site host noticed that traffic to his site was “abnormal.”

“I was averaging 75 visitors a day,” said Adams of his web site, which is hosted by Weebly. “(Weebly) took notice of that. And I wasn’t going out of my way to tell people, either.”

Adams is now paid by Weebly to review movies of all kinds, which gives him special viewing privileges.

“I get to see movies early all the time,” said Adams of the pre-screenings he attends sometimes weeks before films hit the theaters. “That would be enough for me. It’s kind of cool to see a movie weeks early before the general public can see it. Then, I can tell people about it.”

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