About Alumni


Mary Leaphart CarterMissoula native Mary Leaphart Carter, who attended UM from 1934 to 1937, celebrated her 100th birthday March 5 in the Rattlesnake Valley farmhouse in which she grew up. Last year, at age ninety-nine, she published a memoir, Rattlesnake Mary: From Homesteading to the Atomic Age, which parallels the social, technological, and political changes that transformed the first half of the twentieth century. The book recounts Mary’s personal experiences as she lived through these transformations, from growing up in Missoula and then homesteading in Wyoming to raising a family in New York City in 1945 and learning the U.S. had dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima—and that her husband was part of the team that built it.
Mary’s father, Charles William Leaphart, was dean of the UM law school for more than forty years. Her mother, Mary Leaphart, also published a memoir, Mary and the Dean, as she neared 100 years old.


Paul Caine ’56, San Diego, had an illustrious twenty-four-year career as a naval aviator. In his early service, he was credited with thirteen helicopter rescues, and he worked with search and rescue operations in the Tonkin Gulf during the Vietnam War. After more than eighty combat missions, Paul served as a recovery pilot for the Apollo 4 spacecraft. Following his military career, he worked in international business and co-founded NAI NAFTA, which helped create thousands of jobs in NAFTA countries. Now retired and living in Southern California, he still makes it back to Montana to enjoy Seeley Lake in the summertime.

DeLynn Colvert ’57, M.F.A. ’58, Missoula, recently published the fifth edition of his book, Play Winning Cribbage. An avid player, he has won the national championship four times and was voted into the American Cribbage Congress’ Cribbage Hall of Fame.


Barry Gough, M.A. ’66, Victoria, B.C., won the British Maritime Foundation’s 2015 Mountbatten Maritime Award for his book, Pax Britannica: Ruling the Waves and Keeping the Peace before Armageddon.

Frederick Thomson ’68, J.D. ’85, Sierra Vista, Ariz., received a Congressional Veteran of Distinction Award in October. The award, presented by Arizona Rep. Martha McSally, honored Frederick for his service to the community as an arbitrator/mediator for the Cochise Superior Court alternative dispute resolution program which provides free legal advice to seniors. Frederick served in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Wendy Ross Seeley Beye ’69, Roundup, wrote Who Fears the Wolf? and published it digitally under the pen name W.J. Ross. The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBook, and Smashwords. Beye pursued a late-life career in freelance writing for High Country News through its Writers on the Range series. She also wrote the report for the Lower Missouri River Basin Water Supply Initiative project by the DNRC and a grant-funded project on the water history of the Musselshell River basin.

John Matthews ’62, Madison, Wisc., retired in January after serving as the executive director of Madison Teachers Inc. for forty-eight years. An article in the Wisconsin State Journal referred to him as “the hard-charging executive director of the union that represents Madison public school teachers and possibly the longest-serving teachers union head in the country.”

BraunClait E. Braun, M.S. ’65, Tucson, Ariz., received the Spirit of Defenders Science Award in September at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., for his work to conserve sage grouse. Clait is a semi-retired wildlife biologist who remains a leading ornithological expert and an advocate for sage grouse and other wildlife. He has been active in wildlife research and management for more than forty-five years and was among the key scientists responsible for distinguishing the Gunnison sage grouse from the greater sage grouse. Clait has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles on birds. His work is marked by scientific rigor and unwavering advocacy for sage grouse, which have lost much of their natural habitat to land-use changes and development.

Steve ArnoSteve Arno, M.S. ’66, Ph.D. ’70, Florence, and Carl Fiedler ’69, M.S. ’74, Missoula, co-wrote Ponderosa: People, Fire, and the West’s Most Iconic Tree, which was released last spring. The book provides an in-depth look at the natural history of mid-elevation forests of the western United States.

Raymond Dominick ’66, Bigfork, published his second book, Investing Guide for Retirement: Build, Grow and Protect Your Financial Future, in January.


Bob Boeh ’70, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is vice president for government and community affairs for the Idaho Forest Group, one of the country’s largest lumber producers.

BeedTeresa Beed ’71, Missoula, an accounting professor in UM’s School of Business Administration, received the 2015 George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award from the Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants. The award is given annually to a society member whose contribution to the accounting profession and involvement in community, charitable, and civic activities merit recognition.

Dan Severson ’71, Stevensville, earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce in February. He retired this spring after owning and operating Valley Drug & Variety in Stevensville for more than two decades. 

Jeffrey Sherlock ’72, J.D. ’75, Helena, retired after serving twenty-seven years as a judge for Lewis and Clark County District Court. A former Helena city attorney, he also worked as a public defender and in private practice.

Nina DahlbergNina Dalberg ’74, Springfield, Mo., co-wrote and published The Legend of King Max, a novel of historical fiction based in a small North Dakota town. 

Craig Anderson ’75, Glendive, received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Montana Board of Crime Control. Craig, who worked in law enforcement for more than thirty-eight years, retired in 2014 after serving eleven years as the Dawson County sheriff.

Lynne Avril ’75, Phoenix, has illustrated more than eighty children’s books, including The Pirate of Kindergarten, Every Cowgirl Loves a Rodeo, I’m Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes, and several editions in the Amelia Bedelia picture book series.

SchutzaJudy Schutza, M.S. ’75, Telluride, Colo., retired in January after a forty-two-year career with the U.S. Forest Service.

Megan McNamerMegan McNamer ’76, Missoula, won the 2015 Black Lawrence Press Big Moose Prize for her novel, Children and Lunatics. Black Lawrence Press will publish the novel, her first, in July.

Graduates of UM’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy cleaned up at the Montana Pharmacy Association’s 2016 awards ceremony held in January.

Ty Tyvand ’76, and Carla Reicks ’11, both of Anaconda, were co-recipients of the association’s Excellence in Innovation Award. Ty is the pharmacy director at Community Hospital of Anaconda, where he has worked as a pharmacist for more than thirty-five years. Carla is the pharmacy clinical coordinator for the Montana State Hospital, where she provides medication to patients struggling with mental health issues.

Rebecca Stillo ’00, Whitefish, received the Fitzgerald Pharmacist of the Year Award. She owns and operates Alpine Apothecary, an independent pharmacy that specializes in compounded medications and also offers patients essential oils.

The association also honored Tobey T. Schule ’77, Kalispell, with the Bowl of Hygeia Award; Starla Blank ’88, Helena, with the Generation Rx Champion Award; and Corey Heffernan ’07, Missoula, as Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year.

Bruce Dehnert ’78, Layton, N.J., was elected as a member of the International Academy of Ceramics based in Geneva, Switzerland. The selection recognizes his contributions as an artist, as well as his teaching, writing, and presence in the international arena of ceramic art. A studio potter and sculptor for thirty-five years, Bruce is head of ceramics at Peters Valley School of Craft.

MurionNick Murnion, J.D. ’78, Forsyth, was appointed to serve as district court judge for Valley County. He received a John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 1998 for his role in defying the infamous 1996 Freemen standoff while serving as the Garfield County attorney.

CooneyDee Ann Cooney ’79, Helena, was appointed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to serve as district judge for the state’s First Judicial District, based in Helena. She previously operated her own practice, primarily defending counties in civil matters, including civil rights cases. Her husband, Mike Cooney ’79, Helena, was appointed by Bullock to serve as Montana’s thirty-second lieutenant governor. A longtime public servant and elected official, Mike also has served in both houses of the Montana Legislature and three terms as secretary of state.


Jill FlemingJill Fleming ’80, M.A. ’82, Townsend, traveled with her husband, Kelly, to Uganda this past summer and trekked to see mountain gorillas. “We had the amazing experience of walking among a large family, and we were close enough to shake hands a few times, but we didn’t dare!” writes Jill, pictured here proudly sporting her Griz hat while on the trip. After spending twenty-five years as a counselor in the Townsend School District, Jill recently returned to her undergraduate roots and started teaching high school English.

BisselGael Bissell, M.S. ’82, Kalispell, is the conservation manager for the Vital Ground Foundation. She leads the organization’s land conservation efforts to protect and restore grizzly bear populations in Montana, Idaho, and other parts of North America. She also stewards conservation easements and other lands purchased to benefit grizzlies and other wildlife. Before joining the foundation, Gael worked for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks’ Northwest Montana habitat program for three decades. While with FWP, Bissell helped preserve nearly a quarter-million acres of wildlife habitat. She helped secure land purchases, donations, and easements throughout Northwest Montana worth about $120 million. Her spouse, Richard Mace ’78, M.S. ’84, also recently retired after a thirty-five-year career working to recover the grizzly bear population in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.

Sandra Boham ’82, Polson, is the new president of Salish Kootenai College in Pablo. Her priorities at the helm of the tribal college include starting a STEM program for high school students, implementing a bachelor’s degree in tribal governance and administration, and offering community members free evening courses in the Salish language.

O'DonnellBill O’Donnell ’84, Tyler, Texas, is vice president for business affairs at the University of Texas at Tyler. In this role, he is responsible for management of the university’s facilities, financial services, recruiting efforts, and human resources. He previously served as vice chancellor for administrative and fiscal affairs at Indiana University-South Bend.

RestaniMarco Restani ’86, Helena, a wildlife ecology professor and bird researcher, is the director of conservation for Montana Audubon, a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of native birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. In his role, he oversees Montana Audubon’s priority conservation programs, develops the Important Bird Area Program, establishes citizen-science efforts, collaborates with partners to advance habitat conservation, and integrates science into public policy.

MartinSteven Martin, M.S. ’87, Ph.D. ’94, Arcata, Calif., received the 2015 national award for Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Research from the chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Steven currently is a professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Management at Humboldt State University.


C. Riley Auge ’92, Ph.D. ’13, Missoula, earned the 2016 Kathleen Kirk Gilmore Dissertation Award for her doctoral dissertation she defended while finishing her doctorate in anthropology from UM. She earned the national award, presented by the Society for Historical Archaeology, for her dissertation on the historical record of myth, ritual, and religion, titled “Silent Sentinels: Archaeology, Magic, and the Gendered Control of Domestic Boundaries in New England, 1620-1725.”

Kevin Anthony ’93, West Richland, Wash., was promoted to sports editor of the daily Tri-City Herald.

HeiselScot Heisel ’94, Enterprise, Ore., was named editor of the Wallowa County Chieftain in October. A Missoula native, he previously worked for The Daily News in Longview, Wash., and the Missoulian.

Kraig Michels ’93, M.B.A. ’96, Port Angeles, Wash., is the director of human resources at Peninsula College.

Sarah Mart ’94, Petaluma, Calif., is the director of operations for DiabetesSisters, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the health and quality of life for women with diabetes and advocate on their behalf.

VelkeyKaren Velkey, M.B.A. ’94, Newport News, Va., is corporate vice president, benefits and compensation, for Huntington Ingalls Industries, the country’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of engineering, manufacturing, and management services to the nuclear energy, oil, and gas markets.

Kara Brown ’95, Reno, Nev., is the general manager of Times-Shamrock Communications Radio Stations and is responsible for operating all of the company’s FM stations in Reno.

The Flood Girls book cover authored by Richard FifieldRichard Fifield ’98, Missoula, published The Flood Girls, a novel based on his experiences growing up in the tiny town of Troy in Northwestern Montana. New York Times best-selling author Jackie Collins called The Flood Girls “a wild and crazy debut novel by a talented young writer. Edgy and original, it’s worth the trip.” IndieBound named it as a February 2016 Indie Next List Pick. Numerous literary journals have published Richard’s work, and his short story, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” was shortlisted for the 2014 Bristol Prize and published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 7. An active member of the Missoula community, he also teaches creative writing at UM.

JensenEinar Jensen, M.A. ’98, Highlands Ranch, Colo., directs the wildfire mitigation program and educates students and the public on fire and injury prevention as the community risk reduction specialist for Colorado’s South Metro Fire Rescue Authority’s Preparedness Division. He recently published a book, Ancient Fire, Modern Fire: Understanding and Living with Our Friend & Foe, which presents an eye-opening look at fire and our history of managing it.

FarrellAllison Farrell ’99, Bridgeport, W.Va., was promoted to member of the firm at Steptoe & Johnson’s branch in Bridgeport, W.Va. Farrell’s legal practice focuses on energy litigation, and she represents the interests of the oil and natural gas industry and has been involved in all aspects of litigation facing the industry.

MurdoAngela Murdo ’99, Helena, was promoted to shareholder at the Anderson ZurMuehlen accounting firm’s Helena branch. She provides business consulting services and performs audits for financial institutions, nonprofits, and corporate clients. She also serves as chair of the Financial Institutions specialty team.


Whitley PatersonAndrea Whitley Paterson ’00, Houston, a general litigation attorney for Beck Redden, was named a 2016 Texas Rising Star on Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers list. The list recognizes no more than 5 percent of attorneys in each state, and the Texas Rising Stars list includes no more than 2.5 percent of Texas attorneys.

ColvinBen Colvin ’01, M.S. ’07, Asheville, N.C., is the executive director of Wild Forests and Fauna, an international conservation organization that supports and develops place-based organizations, projects, and individuals that share its mission to protect and restore threatened forests and species. Ben has more than fifteen years of experience in wilderness guiding, environmental education, nonprofit fundraising, and conservation leadership.

Mark Aagenes ’01, Helena, is the director of government relations for The Nature Conservancy’s Montana chapter. He manages the chapter’s public policy work at the state and federal levels.

Amy P. Eddy, J.D. ’01, Kalispell, was appointed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to serve as Flathead County district judge.

Ethan Hasenstein, M.S. ’01, Portland, Ore., provides legal support on river-land transactions, fundraising, and governance matters as corporate counsel for Western Rivers Conservancy, an organization dedicated to protecting the West’s outstanding ecosystems. He has practiced law for more than a decade in both the public and private sectors, with a focus on natural resources and real estate transactions.

Robert Moler, M.S. ’02, Helena, is an Environmental Protection Agency community involvement coordinator for sixteen Superfund sites in Montana.

Jessica, Bobby, and Karen WilkenJessica Wilken ’02, Bobby Wilken ’02, and Karen Wilken ’00, Fairbanks, Alaska, opened HooDoo Brewing Company, a small, family-run brewery in the heart of Alaska, in 2012. The brewery won the 2015 Bill Stroecker Business of the Year award, presented annually by the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. In February, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce named HooDoo a Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winner. “We are pleased to send news that our little brewery is thriving and a community success, no doubt thanks to our undergraduate degrees from the nation’s finest university!” Karen writes.

VisteinGeri Vistein ’04, Brunswick, Maine, is a conservation biologist who specializes in helping humans understand and coexist with carnivores, especially coyotes. She recently published a book, I Am Coyote, and she uses creative outreach projects to educate Maine residents about the ecology and value of carnivores and how to practice coexistence skills.

Cover of Montana Baseball History by Jeremy WattersonJeremy Watterson ’04, Missoula, is co-author of Montana Baseball History, which reveals the Treasure State’s surprising, often rowdy connections to the national pastime, from the Lewis & Clark expedition to present day. Jeremy is a member of the Society of American Baseball Research, and his writing on baseball has appeared in weekly newspapers and western Montana journals.

JaquesAaron Jaques ’05, Missoula, is a programmer analyst for the UM Foundation. He previously worked as an application engineer for the Department of Administration in Helena and as a systems analyst at Missoula’s Community Medical Center.

JohnsonSteven Johnson ’05, Helena, was promoted to manager of the Anderson ZurMuehlen accounting firm’s Helena branch. His experience includes tax planning and compliance reporting for individuals and businesses. He also consults for litigation cases on economic damages, forensic accounting, and liability issues.

Anna Chapman Burkas, M.S. ’06, Ukiah, Calif., is a hydrologist and California State licensed general building and engineering contractor. She founded Village Ecosystems, a company that works with local homeowners to reduce their water usage and create drought-friendly environments in California.

Hunter McHughBeth Hunter McHugh ’06, Hamilton, won the 2015 Meadowlark Award for her debut novel, The Actor, earning a $1,000 prize. Riverbend Publishing published The Actor in September.

Rachel Toor, M.F.A. ’06, Cheney, Wash., is an associate professor of English specializing in creative nonfiction at Eastern Washington University. She previously was acquisitions editor at the Oxford and Duke university presses and an admissions officer at Duke. She’s published several books, including Admissions Confidential and Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running, and was a columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education and Running Times magazine.

CerraMelody Cerra ’07, Seattle, received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University in 2014. She went on to complete a rotating small-animal internship, with an emphasis in emergency medicine, at Pet Emergency & Specialty Center in La Mesa, Calif. She’s now on staff at Seattle Veterinary Specialists as an ER vet.

Christine and Alex FregerioChristine Fromm Fregerio ’07, M.B.A. ’10, and Alex Fregerio ’08, Missoula, recently opened Taste Buds Kitchen, a culinary entertainment studio in downtown Missoula. Taste Buds Kitchen offers fresh, unique, and hands-on cooking workshops and private cooking parties for chefs of all ages, including kids camps, afterschool classes, parent/child workshops, and multicourse adult BYOB events.

Terri Russell ’07, Helena, is a licensed addiction counselor for the Helena Indian Alliance’s substance abuse program. Her expertise includes various chemical dependency treatment modalities, including inpatient and outpatient settings.

StevensonKathryn Stevenson ’07, Lawrence, Kan., is an associate attorney at Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered, in Wichita, Kan., with a focus on research, writing, and appellate work. She also serves on the UM Alumni Association’s Board of Directors.

Jennifer Donohue ’08, Washington, D.C., is the communications director for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

Maynard-HahnTegan Maynard-Hahn ’08, Helena, is the diabetes program manager and vaccination program coordinator at the Leo Pocha Clinic, part of the Helena Indian Alliance. She recently served as the community health director for the Montana Student Nurses Association and previously was involved in community projects focusing on food security, domestic violence prevention, and health promotion in Montana.

WarhankHanna Warhank, J.D. ’09, Helena, is an associate attorney at Church, Harris, Johnson, and Williams, P.C. Her practice focuses on business and estate planning, taxation, estate and trust administration, and real property.


DriscollKelly Driscoll ’10, J.D. ’14, Missoula, is an attorney at Wells and McKittrick, P.C. Before joining the firm, she clerked for Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath.

Dustin Monroe ’11, M.P.A. ’15, Missoula, is the founder and CEO of Native Generational Change, a grassroots organization working to improve intergenerational mobility for Native Americans. A member of the Assiniboine and Blackfeet tribes and a military veteran, he currently is earning his doctorate in medical anthropology from UM.

Jordan FitzGerald ’12, J.D. ’15, Billings, is an attorney at Moulton Bellingham P.C. He practices primarily in the area of civil litigation, along with natural resource, water, and environmental law.

MeyersAndy Meyers, M.M. ’12, Glasgow, is the Fort Peck Theatre artistic director. He was nominated for best actor in a musical, best director of a musical, best supporting actor, and best choreography in the 2015 BroadwayWorld Phoenix Awards.

Andrew Moyle ’12, Conifer, Colo., is a wildland fire specialist for the Elk Creek Fire District in Colorado. In this role, he’s tasked with rewriting the community’s wildfire protection plan and educating residents about the need for property mitigation.

Stacy Jackson ’13, Missoula, is the foundation services coordinator at the UM Foundation.

Milan Vinks ’13, Eastern Province, Zambia, is a field ecologist with the Zambian Carnivore Programme, a nonprofit dedicated to conserving large carnivore species and their ecosystems in one of the last remaining strongholds for large African carnivores.

Molly Gazzara ’14, Missoula, is a staff accountant at James A. McNay CPA. Her areas of expertise are individual and business tax preparation and planning, as well as bookkeeping and financial compilations.

DorshorstEve Dorshorst ’15, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, was named the Montana Air National Guard 120th Airlift Wing Airman of the Year for 2014. She currently is deployed in Afghanistan as an F-16 fighter jet crew chief. While on deployment, the staff sergeant also is working on her master’s degree in international relations. Upon her return, she plans to finish her degree and retrain as an F-35 crew chief. Eve is pictured here with four-star General Mark Welsh, the Air Force’s chief of staff, at her coining ceremony in October.

Jordan GregoryJordan Gregory ’15, Rockhampton, Australia, signed a one-year deal to play professional basketball with the Rockhampton Rockets of the Queensland Basketball League. Jordan was a three-year starter who helped lead the Grizzlies to the 2014-15 regular- season Big Sky Conference championship.