Facetime March 2014 - 1980s

There are great discussions happening on the NAU Alumni Association LinkedIn Page. Be sure to check it out and share an update with the network.

Deborah Hall, ’80 BA, raised her children in central Vermont, then re-located to the Keene, NH area to be near family. She earned her Highly Qualified Teacher English/ELA Teaching Certificates for Middle School and High School from Upper Valley Educators Institute in Lebanon, NH. She is licensed to teach in both New Hampshire and Vermont, grades 5-12. After a divorce in 2009, she is pursuing her teaching career in the Keene area.​

ICF International, a global technology, policy and management consultancy firm, has named Gene Rodrigues, ’80 BSED, as vice president. He will focus on expanding the firm’s expertise in energy efficiency and demand site management. Gene previously served as senior director for Southern California Edison, where he has worked for the last 23 years.

Paul Schillmoller, ’80 BS

Paul Schillmoller, ’80 BS (pictured above), has been appointed as an independent board member to the Duma Hydrocarb Energy Corporation Board of Directors. He will serve as Chairman of the Nominating Committee, fulfilling a corporate governance requirement for an exchange listing. Paul is a businessman and geophysicist with a comprehensive understanding of the energy sector. With more than 34 years of experience in oil and gas, he specializes in seismic acquisition projects for major oil companies both domestic and international.

Donna Davis, ’81 BS, is regional administrator for the Small Business Administration. She leads Region IX, which encompasses Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii and Nevada. Donna supervises numerous programs such as no-fee loans and access to capital for veterans and small business owners. Prior to this appointment she was CEO of DIR Group Inc., a business and advocacy consulting firm.

Dr. Craig Benkmen, ’82 MS

The American Society of Naturalists (ASN) has recognized Dr. Craig Benkman, ’82 MS (above image), with one of its highest honors, the E.O. Wilson Naturalist Award. The award recognizes mid-career investigators who have made significant contributions to the knowledge of a particular ecosystem or group of organisms. Craig was cited for his decades of year-round field study, aviary experiments and quantitative syntheses that have produced an exceptional body of work on the ecology and coevolution of crossbills, conifer cones and other seed predators. He is credited with 73 publications, appearing in such journals as the American Naturalist, Nature, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Evolution, and Ecology. He has garnered more than $1.5 million in federal, state and private funds. His impacts on the fields of coevolution, behavioral ecology and ornithology have been immense, with nearly 2,800 total citations of his publications. Craig is professor in the University of Wyoming Department of Zoology and Physiology, and the Robert B. Berry Distinguished Chair in Ecology.

Scott Hanson, ’83 BS, was featured in an online article by Raising Arizona Kids for his work as a high school baseball umpire and football referee for the past 30 and 25 years, respectively. Scott is the president of HMA Public Relations in Phoenix, which has been recognized as one of the leading PR firms in the valley. 

Paul Thomas, ’83 BSBA crop

Paul Thomas (left) poses with his son Matt and new grandson Camden. All three Lumberjacks share December 19 as their birthday.

Paul Thomas, ’83 BSBA, now has even more reason to celebrate on his birthday – his son Matt, ’12 BS, and grandson Camden were both born on the same date, December 19. Paul sent us a note to share this strange coincidence. “While Matt and I shared the same birthday, it was always celebrated as Matt's day.  It wasn't until he got older that it started to be fun for both of us. Now we always make it a point to do something together, whether it’s a weekend trip or just hanging out. As a father it is probably one of the coolest things to share a birthday with a son. We haven't even thought about what our birthdays will be like now with Camden. I was originally a forestry major and had decided I wanted to go to a school in the west (I am from Ohio). I applied at six schools and decided on NAU because of cost, school reputation and the town.  Matt was an HRM major.  His freshman year he got an internship with Disney so when he graduated from NAU he had offers from Four Seasons, Disney, Fairmont, and two other places.  He took the offer from Disney and now is in management with Disney World in Orlando. Matt decided on NAU because we spent so much time in Flagstaff and he knew about my attachment to the school and it was something that he had decided as a child, and when it was time for college he didn't apply anywhere but NAU. My youngest son is attending NAU now and he was the same way. He never applied anywhere else.”

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has named Leanne Hunstock, ’84 MED, as chief operating officer. Leanne brings more than 35 years of healthcare experience and most recently worked as chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at Moanalua Medical Center. She will lead patient care operations focusing on quality and a patient-centered approach in her new role.

Theresa Englbrecht, ’86 BSE

Theresa Englbrecht, ’86 BSE (pictured above), is broker associate for Coldwell Banker Commercial. She was recently featured in a Q&A piece in the Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction, Colo. Theresa shares,I have been able to combine knowledge from my previous career into my real estate business; manufacturing, estimating, structural, mechanisms, blueprint reading, and professional relationships — all have allowed me to work at a different level than many commercial real estate brokers.”

Flagstaff artist Ellen Tibbetts, ’86 MA, hosted her ceramic works in an exhibition entitled “Tales from the Earth” at the Jewel Gallery of the Coconino Center for the Arts. Ellen taught ceramics for many years at both Coconino Community College and NAU.

Barbara (Debenedetto) Van Norman, ’87 BGS

DrugFreeAZ.org has selected Barbara (Debenedetto) Van Norman, ’87 BGS (pictured above), as executive assistant. She will be in charge of managing the administrative and finance duties in office, including special event coordination; as well as directing and coordinating all staff and volunteer involvement for special events.

Curt Bertram, ’88 BSET

The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics welcomes Curt Bertram, ’88 BSET (photo above), as president of the Board. Since joining the ABC board in December 2009, Bertram has played a role in creating many of ABC’s current policies and brings with him nearly 23 years of experience working in the orthotics & prosthetics profession.

Richard Harwood, ’87 BS and ’89 MS

Professor Richard Harwood, ’87 BS & ’89 MS (above image), recently presented “Geology Goes to Hollywood: Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Dinosaurs, Oh My!” at the Windmill Cultural Center in Fulton, Ill. Richard addressed pressing geological questions born from silver screen such as: Could a volcano really erupt in downtown Los Angeles? Would Tyrannosaurus rex really go chasing after a Jeep? Could the Earth's core really stop spinning and spell doom for the human race? Is a tsunami going to wipe out New York City? Will California fall into the sea?, and much more. He is a professor of geology and geography at Black Hawk College.

Dr. Brad Reed, ’88 MAED, is the new superintendent of USD 428 of Great Bend, Kan. Brad is no stranger to the district, as he served as assistant principal at Great Bend High School from 1991-1992. He brings a total of 31 years of experience in education with 25 of those in administration and is experienced in curriculum development, budget preparation, employee negotiations, public relations, employee recruitment and vision building. Brad will begin the position July 1, 2014.