Alumni Spotlight – Fall 2013 Alumni Board

New Members

As the Alumni Board of Directors prepares for its fall meeting during homecoming weekend, we thought it would be appropriate to highlight the newest additions to the alumni board. Elected in March at the spring meeting, the new alumni members will serve three-year terms. If you would like to nominate someone to serve on the Alumni Board, you can download the form here.

CarlsonJulie Carlson majored in English and graduated with the class of 1976. Julie currently works as a scholarship administrator for UW-Milwaukee College of Letters and Science and lives in Greenfield, WI. Even after graduation, Julie continues to be incredibly involved with the College – most notably by her position as Class Agent in 1977, and again from 1988 to the present.

In addition to her role as Class Agent, Julie also served on the Alumni Board from 1985 to 1993, where she was Vice President for some time, co-created the first Alumni Handbook and the Milwaukee Alumni Chapter, completed a lot of past Annual Fund calling, and attended numerous Alumni Weekend events. Volunteering is another area that Julie enjoys as she provides her assistance to the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County and Historic Milwaukee, Inc. While participating in College affairs and volunteering are important to her, vacationing and visiting car shows with her husband are also among Julie’s list of favorite hobbies.


Pickard FancherCarol Pickhardt Fancher graduated in 1962 with a music education and advanced elementary education major and an English minor. While at Ripon, Carol was constantly busy due to her participation in various groups on campus such as Alpha Delta Pi sorority, homecoming committee, and orientation committee. Following graduation, Carol completed graduate secretarial work before going into the realm of teaching. Prior to her retirement, Carol taught a wide range of elementary classes for various grade levels. She also was involved in the teaching of music to children and took pleasure in directing children’s choir groups, along with other gospel and chime choir groups.

Carol currently lives in Naperville, IL and spends her time singing with her husband in advanced choir groups, and directing some of the groups as well. She also enjoys traveling, reading, expanding her knowledge in the fields of history and genealogy, and participating in associations such as Southwest Chapter of Choristers and Delta Kappa Gamma Society. Aside from her involvement in the areas of teaching, singing, and directing, Carol has also taken on the responsibilities of class agent over the past eight years, has taken part in alumni weekend and admissions, and has helped run the past two reunion cycles for the class of 1962.


KernTaima Kern studied studio art and English while a student at Ripon College, and was a member of the class of 2011. Taima currently works as an assistant editor and on a features team for Action Reporter Media in Fond du Lac, WI. As a college student, Taima was actively involved around campus. She was a member of Theta Sigma Tau, the newspaper College Days, the orientation committee, and the co-founder and secretary for the drum line.

Today, Taima spends her spare time playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, writing, photographing, painting, and creating comic art. She also participates within the Fond du Lac Community Theatre and enjoys her membership with Fond du Lac Visual Arts. In the future, Taima expresses interest in becoming more involved with Alumni Weekend, young alumni, admissions, and fundraising initiatives.


KlaasNicole Klaas graduated with the class of 2006 with a major in politics and government and a minor in law and society. Currently she is working in the field of financial services as a digital marketing strategist at Heartland Advisors in Milwaukee, WI. Prior to her current job position, Nicole was also a staff writer for The Ledger and Metroland in Albany, NY, in addition to various other roles in the realm of communication. When she has some leisure time, Nicole finds pleasure in spending time with friends at Milwaukee Brewers games, grilling out, and during a night on the town.

Nicole is also very active as a volunteer in the community, participating in organizations such as Girls on the Run of Greater Milwaukee, Milwaukee Center for Independence Children’s Programs, and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network – Greater Milwaukee Chapter. Nicole was also busy around campus as a Ripon College student where she was a class officer and a member of College Days. Nicole expresses interest in participating in areas of the Alumni Association such as Alumni Weekend and career development.


PhillipsJudy Hughes Phillips graduated from Ripon College in 1962 with a major in biology, and minors in education and history. She continued her schooling in the field of education at multiple schools including the University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, and Northwestern where she was able to acquire enough hours of additional learning equivalent to a master’s in education. Judy was a member of Kappa Delta sorority while attending Ripon College and has since been a part of the reunion committees for her class, and involved with the Alumni Board of Directors.

Now living in Appleton, WI, Judy is a retired teacher in the Appleton area school district. During her time as a teacher, Judy taught a multitude of subjects ranging from science to English, while also serving as an advisor to students, a substitute teacher, and a coach for many sports. Today Judy keeps herself busy by traveling, golfing, reading, attending plays, going to sporting events, and being a devoted volunteer for groups including Girl Scouts, American Association of University Women, Philanthropic Educational Organization, and Memorial Presbyterian Church.


WoodsSue Woods studied economics and American history while attending Ripon and was a member of the class of 1985. Aside from her school work, Sue kept busy around campus as the program director and DJ for the local radio station WRPN-FM, and as the secretary for the college’s student senate. Following graduation, Sue continued her schooling at the University of Miami School of Law, and is currently working as a marketing attorney at Holland & Hart LLP in Denver, CO.

In her spare time, Sue loves to ride her horses in beautiful Colorado, compete in dressage competitions, and train for her involvement in sprint triathlons. Sue also actively participates in associations such as the Colorado Bar Association, State Bar of Wisconsin, U.S. Dressage Federation, the Rocky Mountain Dressage Society, and is a proud member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors where she looks forward to giving back to the College.


Student Members

KaounasSophia Kaounas ’14 is currently a senior studying politics and government, communication, and law. As a student at Ripon College, Sophia has demonstrated her leadership through her participation in numerous groups around campus, which earned her the Ripon College Student Leadership Award in 2011. Sophia is a current member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Forensics Team, Ethical Leadership Program, and the Pre-Law Society. She also spends her time volunteering with Autism Therapy, at Ripon Community Concerts, and spent a lengthy amount of time in Jamaica as a volunteer for the Blue Mountain Project. Aside from her work at Ripon, Sophia also attended American University in Washington, DC during the spring semester of 2013 where she studied international law and organizations.

When Sophia is able to find some leisure time, she likes to return to her hometown of Brookings, S.D. where she enjoys camping, boating, and simply spending time outdoors. During her time in the Midwest, Sophia likes to attend the EAA, Green Lake concerts, and visit Wisconsin state parks. Sophia is a returning student representative to the Alumni Board and looking forward to working with career development, students, young alumni, and fundraising initiatives.


McHaleReshma McHale ’14 is in the process of completing her senior year. After leaving Shorewood, WI, Reshma became part of the Ripon community and has been busy ever since. Aside from working on her majors of anthropology and politics and government, Reshma is also the president of Ripon College Book Club, a participant in intramural soccer, and a student worker at both Lane Library and the President’s Office. Her hard work academically has both placed her on the dean’s list and earned her membership to the Laurel Honor Society.

When she has some spare time, Reshma enjoys reading, running, playing soccer, attending concerts, and walking around local street fairs. She is excited about her position as an Alumni Board member and hopes to take part in various alumni activities such as alumni gatherings, admissions, career development, and Alumni Weekend.


NemecekAlexis Nemecek ’14 is currently a senior working on her politics and government major, in addition to her biology and law and society minors. Before joining the Ripon community, Ali lived in Neenah, WI.

During her past few years as a student at the College, Ali has become a sister of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and has led the chapter as president. Her hobbies include volunteering at the community blood center and the Ronald McDonald House, spending time with her sorority sisters, reading, and attending athletic events. Ali looks forward to her position as an Alumni Board member and is interested in becoming involved with young alumni, admissions, and fundraising.


SchwarzenbartAmanda Schwarzenbart ’14 is beginning her fourth year of studies at Ripon College after leaving her hometown of Reedsburg, WI. She plans to graduate with a major in chemistry-biology, and minors in economics and Spanish. Due to her academically successful college career, Amanda has earned membership into Laurel Honor Society, Phi Sigma Iota Foreign Language and Literature Honor Society, and Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society.

Her academic achievements have also made it possible for her to receive the Richard O. and Elizabeth Poulsen Hader Scholarship, John Livingston ’49 and Nancy Livingston Endowed Economics Scholarship, J.T. Lewis Prize in Biology, and the CRC Press Chemistry Achievement Award. When Amanda finds time for relaxation, she most enjoys watching movies, playing tennis, and participating in volunteer activities such as St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn. As an Alumni Board student member, Amanda expresses interest in working with admissions, fundraising, alumni networking, students, and young alumni.

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