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Peace Studies at Manchester University | Plowshares | Indianapolis Peace Institute | Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace
  Volume 34   November 2007 

Notes from Alumni and Friends of Peace Studies  

(updates were received between September 2006 and May 2007)

Norman Harsh (’46) is now 80 and recently celebrated 60 years of marriage with Lois (Eby). They live comfortably at Friendship Retirement Community, Roanoke, VA. Norman is on the Summerdean Church of the Brethren Church Board and chairs Virlina District's Historical Committee. This year he is president of their FRC residents' association.

David Waas (’47) participated in an On Earth Peace/Christian Peacemaker Team delegation to Palestine/Israel in January 2006. He & his grandson, Michael Waas Smith, stayed a little longer when the team left and visited with former Manchester University students in Ramallah.


Wayne Lawson (’49) has now been retired for 14 years but still serves as a pastoral assistant to nursing home residents and works as a volunteer “Red Coat” at a local hospital.


Rev Opal Nees (’50), a Manchester graduate during Gladdys Muir’s tenure as director of the Peace Studies Institute, is retired at Timbercrest after a ‘joyful journey of ministry.’


Ernie Barr (’50) recently moved to Timbercrest Retirement Community in North Manchester and has been assisting in recruiting students to the Indianapolis Peace Institute.


Graydon F. Snyder (’51) is working in a multicultural Church of the Brethren on the West Side of Chicago.


Paul Ritchey (’51) retired from teaching high school social studies in York, PA in 1988. Following his retirement he substituted at West York Middle and High School and Spring Grove Middle and High Schools for 17 years. He currently teaches the older adult Sunday school class at Madison Avenue Church of the Brethren where they raise the Brethren peace position in class. He is active in the Democratic Party and ran for Congress in 1988.


Wilbur Mullen (’53) has spent much of the last three years sharing information about the early work of Brethren Service in Europe. He collected a great number of documents and photos during his time in Europe in the 1940s-1950s. The materials have been shared with David Sollenberger (’75), who prepared a documentary for On Earth Peace, entitled, Food and Clothing, Cattle and Love: Brethren Service in Europe after World War II.

Janet West Schrock (’58) serves as Senior Advisor for Heifer International in their Education Department.


Chuck Boyer (’59) has been retired from pastoral ministry for four years and for the past year has been battling cancer. Before the cancer hit in October 2005 he and his wife were heavily involved with Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels. Chuck is now pretty well limited to reading and undergoing various forms of chemotherapy.


Mary Sue (Helstern) Rosenberger (’62) completed nursing school at Case-Western Reserve University in 1964. After that, she served in BVS from January 1966 until October 1967, most of it at NhaTrang VietNam. She and her husband have both retired, he after 38 years of  pastoral ministry in the Church of the Brethren and Mary Sue after 29 years as a nurse and 12 years as a chaplain at the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, OH. In spring, 2005, they sold their home, gave away most of their belongings, bought a truck and fifth wheel RV and have been living full-time on the road ever since. They have spent winters in South Texas and summers in Ontario, Canada, and Upper Peninsula MI. They maintain a personal web site at www.saveastory.com/travel on which they periodically post stories about their travel experiences. It also has a virtual tour of their “wheel estate,” should anyone want more information.


Ralph Detrick (’63) retired after 37 years of ministry, most recently as a pastor at Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren, where he served for nine years.


Loren Finnell (’64) is in his 43rd year of working in the international nonprofit sector in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The last twenty years Loren has been with the Resource Foundation, an organization that he founded in order to channel funds to local, nonprofit agencies in Latin America. He is the recipient of the Manchester University Philanthropic Award (1997) and an Alumni Award (2002). More recently (September 2006), the National Peace Corps Association presented him with the Sergeant Shriver Distinguished Humanitarian Award at a ceremony in the Senate Caucus Room in Washington, D.C. 

Jim Miller (’67) is District Executive, Shenandoah District (VA) Church of the Brethren.


Donald R. Michaelsen (’67) has been a full-time driver education instructor for Top Driver since May 2002. He educates high school students in the south and southwest suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. From May through October, Donald serves as a part-time paid docent for the Steamship William G. Mather Museum, which is docked at the Inner Harbor of the Port of Cleveland on Lake Erie. He has helped with local and national election campaigns and continues to be an internet citizen lobbyist, advocating for a cleaner environment, preservation of our national park system and protection of the world's endangered wildlife.

Joel Eikenberry (’68) is working as a physician at urgent care centers in Huntington and Ft. Wayne. 

Bev Eikenberry (’69) is working for Education for Conflict Resolution in North Manchester.


Cynthia Metzger Mason (’70) is the director of the Pennsylvania Room (her town’s genealogy and local history collection) at the Meyersdale Public Library, Meyersdale PA. They provide research services for patrons throughout the U.S. and occasionally from abroad.


Chris (Eby) Talbott (’71) - Upon venturing to Idaho to work for the U.S. Forest Service in 1973, Chris met and married a man who convinced her that Idaho was a good place to live. So, the last 33 years of her life have been spent in beautiful northern Idaho. She works at Washington State University in the College of Business, Department of Marketing as their Administrative Assistant. Chris & her husband, who is a fine cabinet maker, have two grown daughters and feel fortunate to be a part of a small, warm, caring American Baptist/Disciples of Christ church.

Joe Detrick (’71) has been working as the District Executive for the Southern PA District, Church of the Brethren for the past eight years.


Tom Hurst, Ed.D (’73) is Director of Campus Ministries at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas.

Tim Speicher (’75) is very busy with his activities as pastor at First Church of the Brethren, Reading, PA. He served as Moderator for Atlantic Northeast District Conference, Church of the Brethren, in 2001. The district conference took place one month after the events of 9/11. A statement of prayerful response to the tragic events was unanimously passed by the district conference. More recently, Tim has represented the ecumenical community of Reading Berks Conference of Churches. He has participated in their End of Life Care Coalition, and their Interfaith Disaster Response organization. He has also volunteered with the newly formed Berks Country Long Term Recovery Coalition that is assisting with recovery efforts related to the June 2006 flooding in the community.


Melanie May (’76) has been at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York, the home of the Social Gospel, for the last 15 years. The ethos of the school is very Anabaptist, committed to social justice and to diversity being affirmed. Melanie is the Vice President for Academic Life, Dean of Faculty, & John Price Crozer Professor of Theology at Colgate.


Rob Curry (’76) is the Executive Director of the Cleveland Housing Network (CHN). As Executive Director, Mr. Curry is responsible for the overall management of CHN, its thirty-five real estate partnerships and a combined annual operating and capital budget ranging from $50 million to $90 million. 


Jean Norton (’76) leads retreats through HeartSong: A Ministry of Music & Spirituality, with harpist Mona Terry. They are seeking pathways to peace with their music and retreats and have just released a CD entitled, A Path Seeking Harmony.  The CD features original meditative harp and flute music, and it is soon to be available on CDBaby. An ordained United Church of Christ minister, Jean is now a Board Certified Chaplain at Genesis Medical Center, and Minister of Music at Edwards UCC in Davenport, Iowa. 


Dr. Beth Kurtz-Costes (’77) is an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology at the University of North Carolina. She is also conducting research on the transition to middle school for African American students. On the home front, Beth and her husband are beginning to think about the college-search process: her daughter Lydie is a senior in high school.


Damon Wagner Fields (’77) is currently working/studying as a Chaplain Resident at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. 


Andrea Warnke (’79) has just finished her 25th year working for the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont, where she is the Associate Director.


Tim Button-Harrison (x80) After returning to Iowa and working as State Coordinator of the Iowa Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign from 1982-1984, Tim completed a B.A. in Religion at the University of Iowa (1987) and then an M.A. in Theology from Bethany Theological Seminary (1990). He has completed pastorates in two Church of the Brethren congregations: Ankeny, Northern Plains District (1990-1996) and Ivester, Northern Plains District (1996-2006). He currently serves as the Interim Pastor of the Panther Creek Church of the Brethren, Northern Plains District, and as the Interim District Executive of the Northern Plains District. 


Tom Wagner (’82) - A collection of Tom Wagner's essays has been published by Muskegon County Cooperating Churches, titled, A Pilgrim’s Provender: Selected Essays on Life and Faith. Copies are available from MUCC, 1095 Third St. Suite 10, Muskegon, MI 49441 for a donation of $12.50. Proceeds support the program of Muskegon County Cooperating Churches, a local ecumenical service agency.


Carissa Fralin, (’91) is currently working for the Denver Department of Human Services as a social worker. She received her MSW from the University of Denver in 1997. She works in Child Protection in an on-call unit and responds to emergencies involving the abuse or neglect of children. Carissa is married to Joe Evertz and they have a two year old son, Vaughn Evertz. They live in Broomfield, Colorado, a northern suburb of Denver.


Kelli Yaussy (’91) is currently a school social worker for Community Consolidated School District 59, which covers Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Mt. Prospect and Des Plaines, Illinois. She works in two K-5 schools in the district. Kelli is also a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Illinois. 

Harvey Weaver  (’91) over the last 15 years Harvey has done advocacy work for conscientious objectors in Washington, D.C., owned a bead shop called “Butch's Beads,” worked for the Dayton Daily News, obtained a masters in counseling, worked in a residential facility for people with schizophrenia and in a partial hospitalization program for children with severe behavioral difficulties. Now he works at Mazer, Inc., a company that produces textbooks. Harvey is currently in a band called “Ohio Pie Factory.” The band’s myspace site is: www.myspace.com/ohiopiefactory, if anyone is interested.

Jeffery Jones (’93) - After spending nearly a decade in Boston where he took his Masters from Boston College (with a focus in Irish literature), Jeffery co-founded a semi-professional theatre company, met his wife Maria, and moved to Rochester, NY. In Rochester, he and Maria divide their time between teaching at Monroe Community College and raising their seventeen-month-old son, William, and their nine-year-old cat, Cal.

Beth Joseph (’01) lives in Moab, Utah and works with mentoring and after-school programs at Grand County School District. She was married to Will Kelley on June 2, 2007. 


Rachel Horchler (Carroll) (’01) is working as a social worker in an inpatient psychiatric hospital, the Madison Center, in South Bend, IN. She graduated in May 2007 with a Master's in Social Work from Indiana University. Rachel was married in September to Michael Horchler.


Elizabeth Geisewite (’02) has been working at an affordable (low-income) housing company in the South Bronx, called Mount Hope Housing Company, since June 2005. She began there as an Americorps VISTA and was hired on as a permanent staff member when her year of service ended. She lives in Brooklyn and sings with multiple NYC choral ensembles in her free time. 

Erin McCourt (’06) is working at a domestic violence shelter as an advocate. She answers a crisis line for the Bay Area, provides intake services for new residents, organizes donations, and maintains the shelter facility. Erin says, “It's a good job and it's really great to be back home.”


Keith Hostetler - Since retiring Keith and his wife, Jeanette, have started organizing “cultural exchange” trips to other countries. It is their way of introducing groups of people from the US to people of other cultures. So far, they have taken groups to China (2004) and Greece (2006), and plan to take a group to New Zealand in February, 2008, and possibly to Russia after that. If anyone is interested in going, they can email Keith for information at: kjhostetler@earthlink.net


Daniel J. Whitacre is a retired public school teacher now serving two small Church of the Brethren congregations as pastor. 


Charlie Sutton is involved in the McPherson, KS peace movement, People of Peace.


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