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Editor’s Note: The following class notes reflect news about Ball State alumni that was received and processed prior to the start of 2020.


A 100th birthday celebration was held at the Student Center in October for Martha (Shelley) Ervin, AM ’43, who resides in Muncie. President Geoffrey S. Mearns attended as did Martha’s Lucina Hall roommate, Olive (Fahler) King, ’43 MAE ’73. Also attending was Martha’s son, Mark Ervin, ’81 MA ’85, a Muncie attorney who has served on the Ball State University Foundation Board and is a trustee on the Muncie Community Schools Board.


E. Lee Weir, MA ’63, Bedford, Iowa, is an independent marketing consultant. Before that, he was a graphics communications professor at Clemson University and University of Central Missouri. His accolades include the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications’ Dr. Richard F. Hannemann Service Award in 2017 for his time, energy, and expertise to advance collegiate graphic communications education.

William Moser, ’67 MA ’69, Muncie, won the Top Academic category at the 2nd Annual Awards to Honor Supply Chain Professionals in Central Indiana. Moser is an assistant professor of marketing at Ball State.


John R. Hall, ’72, Indianapolis, a deputy mayor under then-Mayor Stephen Goldsmith and former director of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Indianapolis field office, has been inducted into Shortridge High School Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame.

Cathy Moss, ’72, Louisville, Kentucky, was elected second vice president of International Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Since 1869, the Philanthropic Educational Organization has helped more than 109,000 women pursue an education by providing almost $345 million in awards, grants, loans, and scholarships, plus owning Cottey College.

April (Thruston) Oldham, ’79, Indianapolis, and her daughter, Sarah Clayton, ’07, Indianapolis, took the field together as part of a large reunion of alumni band members, Cardettes, and color guard with the Pride of Mid-America Marching Band during Ball State’s 2019 Homecoming.


Michael C. LaFerney, MA ’80, Haverhill, Massachusetts, has authored an article, “The Ecopsychological View of Seasonal Affective Disorder.” LaFerney is a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist at Arbour Senior Care.

Gregory Fehribach, ’80 MA ’83, Indianapolis, began an initiative with Eskenazi Health in 2013 to match Ball State students with internships in Indianapolis’ health care system. The initiative has expanded to a program that includes other universities and mentoring. In 2019, Eskenazi renamed the program as the Gregory S. Fehribach Center at Eskenazi Health. Fehribach is a distinguished fellow in inclusive excellence at Ball State.

Ezell Marrs, AA ’81 BS ’87, Indianapolis, was appointed vice president of enrollment management at Martin University. He most recently was director of admissions. Marrs also serves as president of Diversity Roundtable of Central Indiana and is a board member of Indianapolis Uplift Foundation and A-Way-Out Ministries.

Linda (Roberts) Pett, ’82, North Potomac, Maryland, reunited with other members of Delta Gamma sorority at the Indiana Motor Speedway. It’s been nearly 40 years since graduation, and Delta Gamma no longer has a chapter on campus, but more than 20 former members gathered to celebrate.

Carolyn (Compton) Friend, ’86 MA ’88, Tipton, Indiana, has practiced speech-language pathology for more than 35 years and has been with Tipton Community School Corp. for 26 years.

Erik Deckers, ’89 MA ’90, Orlando, Florida, released a humor novel, Mackinac Island Nation. He also has published several books about personal branding and social media marketing.


Beth J. Brown, ’91, Plainfield, Indiana, reunited with Troy Crum, ’92, Plainfield, Indiana, at the Ball State-Indiana University football game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Brown befriended Crum when he was a freshman, and she was his “big sister.”

Henry O. Hall, ’93, was appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb to serve on Ball State’s Board of Trustees. As a student, he earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting and was the football team’s co-captain. Hall is president of Skytech Products Group, a leading manufacturer of control systems for the hearth and HVAC industries. An active alumnus, the Fort Wayne resident has also served community groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana and the Fort Wayne Urban League.

Ryan C. Sheppard, ’96, Fairfield, Connecticut, was reappointed to serve on the Advisory Council of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants. Sheppard is a partner in Knight Rolleri Sheppard CPAs in Fairfield.

David A. Northern Sr., ’97, Champaign, Illinois, is the CEO/executive director of the Housing Authority of Champaign County and was elected senior vice president of Public Housing Authorities Directors Association.

Peter D. Sampson, ’99, Greenwood, Indiana, is among 25 semifinalists for the 2020 Music Educator Award out of more than 3,300 nominations. He teaches at Whiteland Community High School. Ten finalists for the award, from the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum, will be announced in December 2019. The seventh annual winner will attend the 62nd Grammys in Los Angeles, plus get a $10,000 honorarium and a matching grant for the winner’s school.

Alan W. Wilson, ’99 MA ’00, Evergreen, Colorado, will oversee Avant Global’s strategy, organizational development, talent and operations, plus manage its private equity fund as the company’s new president. Avant Global is a venture capital investment, business advisory, and private equity fund management firm based in Santa Barbara, California.


Kareema Boykin, ’01, Indianapolis, and Claire E. Lacy recently met while volunteering at an Indy BackPack Attack event. The group collects supplies to help kids succeed in school. Boykin shared her experiences at Ball State with Lacy, who is a freshman. Lacy showed Boykin the chirp sign, which is fairly new, and a Ball State app that would let her reconnect with Ball State. A wonderful example of current students and alumni working together in the spirit of giving back to others.

Jonathan Siedel, ’04, Mount Prospect, Illinois, published Second City Sinners: True Crime from Historic Chicago’s Deadly Streets. The book takes us back to the days when Al Capone and John Dillinger ran the streets of Chicago and how they are responsible for some of Chicago’s most notorious crimes. Seidel is a crime reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and has been with the newspaper since 2012.

Bram Barth, ’’05, Denver, was tapped to manage Lose Design’s new western region office in Denver. Barth, associate vice president of landscape architecture, will oversee operations in that office and will be responsible for cultivating relationships and expanding the office. Lose is based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Kevin Robertson, ’07, Valparaiso, Indiana, was the 2019 alumni speaker of the year for Ball State’s criminal justice and criminology department. Robertson is a delivery operation senior manager for Wal-Mart, responsible for home delivery to several states.


Katheryn Pourcho, ’11, Indianapolis, was named the Indiana Department of Education’s 2020 Teacher of the Year. She teaches art to K-2 students at North Elementary School in Danville. Pourcho is also a professional artist and recently completed an art residency in Switzerland.

Brad Zukowski, ’12, and Alyssa Hofelt, ’14, were married in Laporte, Colorado, on June 9, 2019.

Bryan Beerman, ’13 MA ’15, Greenville, South Carolina, received a Ball State Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award at the annual Alumni & Benefactors Recognition Dinner. Beerman is an architect with LS3P Associates, an eight-office firm founded in 1963 with over 560 design awards to its credit.

Jenna Hague, ’15 MBA ’16, Burlington, Ontario, was promoted to director, payments strategy, at CUMIS Group Ltd. Hague will lead her team in strategically navigating digital commerce within the emerging payments landscape.

Laura Sportiello, ’15, Chicago, was an ensemble member in the Porchlight Music Theatre production of Sunset Boulevard. She also was an understudy for the role of Betty Shaefer in the show, which was performed in Chicago in October. Sportiello will work on Wonder Women The Musical for the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival this February.

Julia Ricci, ’15, Indianapolis, is a senior programmer with Heartland International Film Festival. She works with the artistic director to curate film festival lineups. She was nominated for an Emmy in the research category for the documentary short, Legacies of Perfection: Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg, released in 2013.

Rachel Dobrzykowski, ’16, South Bend, Indiana, was hired by LEX 530 Metropolitan Event Center as its event director. She will run the daily operations of the facility in Elkhart, Indiana, and manage all events including weddings, receptions, corporate events, and nonprofit galas.

Lincoln Clauss, ’17, New York City, will play Peter Pan in the Laguna Playhouse production of Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirates’ Christmas. The show runs this winter in Laguna Beach, California.

Lindsey A. Harrell, ’17, Midland, Michigan, accepted a position at Chippewa Nature Center in Midland as an interpretive naturalist. Harrell is certified by the National Association for Interpretation as an interpretive guide.

Ashley C. Ford, ’18, Brooklyn, New York, gave her talk, What Happens to Children When Their Parents Go to Prison, as part of the Dorothy Garrett Martin Lecture in Ethics and Values at DePauw University. Ford is a Brooklyn-based writer who covers topics including race, sexuality, and body image. Currently working with her husband, Kelly Stacy, ’12, on a collection of music-focused interviews called B-Side Chats, she is also penning a memoir, Somebody’s Daughter, which Flatiron Books will publish under An Oprah Book imprint.

What was one of the best things about this past summer’s annual New York Musical Festival? Critics said it was Sarah-Anne Martinez, ’19. Her performance in Leaving Eden was hailed by the New York Times: “Comic and poignant, delicate and bold, it was a terrific performance.” Martinez won the role through her March 2019 audition at the Theatre Department’s Senior Showcase.