Every other Monday we feature a member profile on our Facebook and Twitter page. Join the K-State Alumni Association today and you could see yourself featured below!
James Latham '69 Arlington, Texas
James is retired from the U.S. Air Force after 28 years as a Brigadier General. He
worked for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company as the director for international business
development in Fort Worth, Texas, retiring in 2014 after 16 years. He recently was
recognized as a Kansan of the Year by Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas.
James shared this memory from his time at K-State: "During spring break 1968, four
of my Sig Ep fraternity bothers and I took a canoe trip down the Kansas Rive. On the
third day my canoe hit something under the water and I bailed out to keep it from
overturning. My hip wadders quickly filled up with water and I could not get them
off. I was going under but managed to grab onto the handle of a discarded refrigerator
on the river bank and hold on until my buddies paddled back to fish me out. The current
was strong and the water was very cold. I remember the incident as if it was yesterday."
Debbie Kirchhoff '86 Olathe, Kansas
Debbie is the executive director of strategic initiatives at K-State Olathe. She described
her favorite K-State memory: "My favorite memory of K-State is my freshman year in
Moore Hall, 5th floor. I met so many wonderful friends! We would all hang out in the
common area every evening after doing homework - we became a very close group supporting
each other through college."
Julie Benson '97, '99 Orlando, Florida
Julie is the assistant vice president of regional development and university-wide
initiatives at University of Central Florida Foundation. Her favorite memoer of K-State
is "Traveling with ten friends in an RV to Tempe, Arizona, to watch our K-State Wildcats
beat Syracuse in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Eve 1997. "
John Sachse '13 Wamego, Kansas
John is the director of industry relations for the Kansas Beef Council. When asked
to describe K-State in five words, he said, "Enlightening. Character-builder. Close-knit.
Steve Braun '84 Overland Park, Kansas
Steve was recently selected by the Kansas City Business Journal as the CFO of the
year. Emplyed by Brandmeyer Enterprises LLC and Cognios Capital LLC. When asked about
his favorite K-State tradition, Steve said, "In particular, now that we have kids
attending K-State, my wife, Susan Stone Braun '85, and I love spending our fall Saturdays
tailgating, attending K-State football games and catching up with all the great K-State
Mitchell Moss '02 Hoxie, Kansas
Mitchell is a Loan Officer and Vice President with the First State Bank. Mitchell's
favorite K-State tradition is: a quality education and preparation for the future.
"Myself, along with many of my family members and friends, were very fortunate to
receive an education, second to none, from this wonderful university. That education
provided the tools necessary to achieve very high goals in our careers and succeed
in life. This can especially been seen in all of the outstanding accomplishments from
our alumni in their: cities, counties, states and beyond." Go 'Cats!
DeeAnn Turpin '13 Houston, Texas
DeeAnn was awarded a 2016 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
Program fellowship. When asked to describe K-State in five words, she said, "A continuous
blessing in disguise."
Todd Nighswonger '86 Joplin, Missouri
Todd is a media relations specialist at Mercy Hospital. Todd said his favorite K-State
tradition is "What's become a nearly annual opportunity to attend bowl games. I've
been to the last two."
Jodi Kaus '90 Manhattan, Kansas
Jodi is the director for K-State’s Powercat Financial Counseling. She recently received
the K-State excellence in engagement award. Jodi's favorite benefit to K-State alumni
is "...that all K-State alumni have access to the free financial tool at Saltmoney.org/k-state to help answer student loan questions, search for jobs and get helpful advice about
Cathy Bandyk ’82, ’86, ‘99 Morriston, Florida
Cathy was recently named member of the year for the American Feed Industry Association.
When asked to describe her favorite K-State tradition, she said, "The noon Hearts
game in the Animal Science department!"
Bruce Frost '70 Wichita, Kansas
Bruce received the Pioneer Award for Outstanding Ag Banker from the Kansas Ag Bankers,
a division of the Kansas Bankers Association. Bruce's favorite K-State tradition is
family. "Our family has a tradition of being K-Staters. My wife’s father and his brothers
attended K-State in the 1930’s. My wife and I were at K-State in the late 1960s, our
daughter attended K-State in the late 1980s and we had our two granddaughters at K-State
the last two years until the oldest graduated in May. Of the eight family members,
all of us had different majors, showing the diversity of education at K-State."
David Franz '69, '70 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
David received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from K-State College of Veterinary
Medicine and Veterinary Medical Alumni Association. His favorite memory of K-State
is, "It was spring of 1970. I was in a small animal exam room in Dykstra Veterinary
Clinic, a senior across the exam table from Dr. Robert Taussig, my favorite clinician-teacher.
I had just palpated the abdomen of a dog and found nothing abnormal. Dr. Taussig
did the 'same thing' and quickly gave me a presumptive diagnosis. I said, "Maybe
when I'm older and wiser?". Without changing his expression or moving his hand from
the animal, he said, "You will get older Mr. Franz, but it remains to be seen if you
will get wiser." I learned more than just veterinary medicine from him. Thanks Dr.
Stephanie McCallister '14 Early Branch, South Carolina
Stephanie is a career coach at Eckerd Kids in South Carolina. When we asked her abouther
favorite K-State tradition, she said, "Definitely Call Hall ice cream! It's absolutely
Mako Miller '04 Kansas City, Missouri
Mako is a postsecondary coach with Kauffman Scholars, Inc. She shared this favorite
memory of K-State: "One of my favorite memories at K-State is the K-State vs. Nebraska
football in 2000. It was my freshman year and it started snowing during the game.
The stadium was packed! K-State pulled off the win 29-28. We rushed the field and
made snow angels! My clothes were soaked, but I didn't care. It was so much fun to
be around so many K-State students and celebrate a great victory. What a great freshman
Larry Erickson '60, '64 Manhattan, Kansas
Larry co-published the Solar Powered Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles.
Larry says his favorite K-State memories are from the K-State Landon Lecture Series.
Chris Merriewether '10 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chris is an MBA student at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Chris
said his favorite memory of K-State is, "Our 2010 NCAA tournament run to the Elite
Eight! I enjoyed going to work everyday with that group of guys. Times like this you
just don't forget. The K-State family showed an incredible amount of love. I recall
seeing a lot of royal purple at every game!"
Cynthia Fails '02 Kansas City, Kansas
Cynthia is a Senior student service coordinator for the Coaching Program at the University
of Missouri-Kansas City, and a member of the K-State Alumni Association Multicultural
Alumni Council. She describes her K-State experience in these five words: Scholarly
incubator for servant leadership.
Abdul Yahaya '08 Gardner, Kansas
Abdul is a staff engineer for the Gardner, Kansas, Public Works Engineering Department,
and an owner of Open Minds Child Development CEnter in Olathe, Kansas. His favorite
membership benefit is the annual wall calendar. "I look at each of the images every
month and reflect on all the great memories and love I have for K-State."
Jean Folkerts '67, '73 Manhattan, Kansas
Jean recently received the Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism
History by The American Journalism Historians Association. When asked about her favorite
K-State memory, Jean said her favorite memory was working on the Collegian.
Recently, Debbie was invited by Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden,
to participate in Operation Educate the Educators at the White House. Debbie said, "Some
of my favorite undergraduate memories are in Ahearn Fieldhouse. I distinctly remember
the K-State versus KU game in 1987. After two overtimes with Steve Henson and Mitch
Richmond leading the way, we celebrated a Wildcat win over Manning’s Jayhawks. The
den was deafening! Everyone was hugging. It was a family celebration atmosphere at
Brant Roney '11 Olathe, Kansas
Brant is a technology architect at Cerner Corporation. His favorite K-State tradition?
"Singing the Alma Mater with the K-State family after a K-State victory!"
Dr. Nels Lindberg '01 Great Bend, Kansas
Dr. Lindberg received the 2015 Veterinarian of the Year Award from the Kansas Veterinary
Medical Association. He said his favorite K-State tradition is tailgating at football
Casey Clark '01 Springfield, Missouri
Casey is an assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. His favorite
memory of K-State is "Spending late spring Friday nights at Frank Myers Field watching
the K-State baseball team."
Andy DiOrio '02 Overland Park, Kansas
Andy is the first two-time president of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Public
Relations Society of America. When asked how he would describe K-State in five words,
he said, "Friends; Family; Preparation for Life."
Rod Harms '82 Manhattan, Kansas
Rod recently received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Manhattan Chamber of
Commerce. Rod's favorite K-State traditions are: "...of course tailgating and attending
football games with family and friends."
Zaldy Doyungan '15 Topeka, Kansas
Zaldy is a sports journalist for KSNT News. "My favorite K-State memory would have
to include experiencing three court stormings in three different perspectives: As
a fan, as part of the security and as part of the media," Zaldy said. "Each one was
different, but all of them were really intense and it was great to have gone through
Leah Carenno '08 Nolanville, Texas
Leah is a captain in the U.S. Army. Her favorite K-State tradition is tailgating at
Bill Snyder Family Stadium with friends and family.
William Service III '08 Anchorage, Alaska
William is a production optimization engineer at ConocoPhillips. He had this to say
about his favorite K-State memory: "Late hours in the Chemical Engineering lab, supporting
K-State sports teams, enjoying Aggieville, building relationships, and learning about
the possibilities a K-State education can provide. There are too many to single out
just one favorite memory. But wherever I work and travel, whether it be Alaska, Europe,
Asia, or South America, I always know I belong to a strong K-State family that supports
each other, no matter where life takes us."
Elizabeth Grilliot '14 Hutchinson, Kansas
Elizabeth is the director of neighborhood development at the Hutchinson Recreation
Commission. Her favorite memory of K-State is "The great friendships made with fellow
graduate assistants in the Kinesiology Department. Many hours of post-class discussions
were spent at Little Apple Brewing Company on Wednesday evenings."
Kathy Palermo '71 Lee's Summit, Missouri
Kathy is serving as the 2014-16 state president of the General Federation of Women’s
Clubs of Missouri. She had this to say about her favorite K-State memory: "My favorite
memory of K-State is being in the marching band the first year women were allowed
to join. Before 1968, it was an all-male marching band. We had so much fun in the
band under Dr. Phil Hewitt and I made a lot of great friends in the band. The highlight
was traveling to the away games on the train or the bus. Such great memories!"
Adriane Falco '07 Olathe, Kansas
Adriane Falco is an elementary school music educator in the Blue Valley School District
in Overland Park, Kansas. She was recently selected as a 2016 Kansas Master Teacher.
When asked about her favorite memory at K-State, Adriane said, "I truly enjoyed my
memories of being a K-State Singer under the direction of Gerald Polich. It was a
wonderful opportunity to perform and travel throughout the state of Kansas. I loved
the camaraderie my fellow singers and I shared over countless hours spent in a bus
traveling to a new place to perform, and how we still keep in touch to this day."
Staci DeGeer '07, '09 Edwardsville, Illinois
Staci is a product development scientist for Nestle Purina PetCare. Staci described
her K-State experience in these five words: Family, Friends, Home, College of Agriculture,
Abby Buchmann '15 Washington, Missouri
Abby Buchmann is an interior designer at the St. Louis office of HOK. When asked to
describe her K-State experience in just five words, she replied,"K-State; where friends
Samuel Brinton '11 Washington, D.C.
Samuel is a nuclear engineer and senior policy analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
When asked to describe his K-State experience in five words, Samuel said, "Unwavering
Support for the WHOLE Wildcat."
Michelle Snyder '08 Alexandria, Virginia
Michelle Snyder is a requirements manager for the U.S. Department of Defense. She
also was awarded Joint Staff Action Officer of the Month from Gen. Martin Dempsey,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "My favorite K-State memory is K-State football
games - go 'Cats!" Snyder said.
Kevin Dale '90 Evergreen, Colorado
Kevin is the executive editor of Cronkite News at Arizona PBS, a daily news operation
and innovation hub operated by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
at Arizona State University. "My favorite memory of K-State is JMC Professor Bill
Brown and his thundering lessons in Kedzie Hall." Kevin said. "I remember those lessons
to this day and try to live that passion for what we do as journalists. I could never
match his delivery, but hopefully I have been able to impart his values and lessons
to colleagues and now students."
Lisa Rockley-Cline '05 Lenexa, Kansas
Lisa is president and CEO for Community Health Charities of Kansas and Missouri. Her favorite
K-State tradition has always been Purple Power Play on Poyntz in downtown Manhattan.
"It was great to start the school year at the community pep rally with the coaches,
cheerleaders, band and thousands of K-State fans in purple," Rockley-Cline said.
Tom Ksiazek '69, '70 Galveston, Texas
Tom was recently recognized by global experts who study deadly infectious diseases
with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 6th annual International Symposium on Filoviruses.
When asked about his favorite K-State memory, Tom said, "I lived in the KSU veterinary
teaching hospital between my sophomore and junior years in veterinary school during
the summer of 1968. I really got a great chance to work with the clinical teaching
staff and that was more intense than the ordinary academic year teaching cycle. There
was also a larger opportunity to have hands on clinical experience during this experience.
Altogether, it was a great experience."
Kaye Kabus '88 Topeka, Kansas
Kaye was recently honored as the 2013-14 School Nutrition Association Regional Outstanding
Director of the Year for the Southwest Region. Her favorite memory of K-State is meeting
herfuture husband, John Kabus ’88, for meals at Derby whenever they could. "I have
enjoyed getting to dine there again with two of our children, Caroline and Conrad
Kabus, who are both currently attending K-State," Kabus said. "Can you tell I was
in the Hotel and Restaurant Management program?"
Nick Relic '10 Overland Park, Kansas
Nick is coordinator of minor league and amateur video for the Kansas City Royals Baseball
Corp. His favorite memory from his time at Kansas State University is "storming the
court after beating KU for the first time in Bramlage Coliseum, on Jan. 30, 2008."