Class Notes – March 2021

Have you recently celebrated a wedding, baby, new job, promotion, or honor? Been published, moved into a new home, or welcomed a grandchild? Share your news with the CSU alumni family by submitting a class note. Approved class notes will be published here and in Colorado State University Magazine.


Headshot of Polly BacaPolly Baca (B.A., ’62) received the Vanguard Legacy Medal from Gov. Jared Polis during presentation of the 2020 Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medals. Baca was honored as a trailblazer for women and the Latino community, having broken barriers in first-time roles in the Colorado House of Representatives and Senate in the 1970s and ’80s. In 1978, she was the first woman of color to be elected to the Colorado State Senate. She also has been active at the national level: Baca was the first Latina to co-chair two National Democratic Conventions; she served as vice chair of the National Democratic Party from 1981-89; and she was director of the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs in the Clinton Administration. She has worked as executive director of the Colorado Hispanic Institute and president and CEO of the Latin American Research and Service Agency. Baca is now president and CEO of Baca Barragan Consultants of Denver and serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System.


Jim Barta (B.S. ’77) and his wife of nearly 40 years retired recently and now live in Pebble Beach, California. Jim served various roles in education for more than four decades, including shop teaching in rural Alaska, working with special needs students in the U.S. and abroad, serving as a professor at several universities and leading faculty as a dean. He continues his work in ethnomathematics working with teachers and students, particularly those in American Indian communities.

Steve Gabel (B.S., ’78) will be inducted into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame during the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville in August. The national honor recognizes lasting contributions to the cattle feeding industry. It is the most recent of many honors for Gabel, owner of Magnum Feedyard in Wiggins, on Colorado’s Eastern Plains. Gabel, a member of the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System, is a longtime coach for the Weld County livestock judging team, reflecting his dedication to supporting young people in agriculture. He has served in state and national leadership roles representing the cattle industry and was named 2015 Livestock Leader by CSU’s Department of Animal Sciences.

Jim Barta and his wife
Jim Barta and his wife


Tom Leahy (B.A., ’85) was named Chief Operating Officer of Midland Industries in December 2020. Midland Industries is a manufacturer and distributor of brass fittings, valves, hose and clamps in Kansas City, MO.


Kristin Golliher (B.A., ’04) published Change. Adapt. Rock, an e-book  offering a step-by-step guide to marketing strategy, public relations, digital marketing, content, social media, and crisis communications. The guide is designed to help small businesses improve their marketing programs, strengthen their brands, and grow – even in times of change. (WildRock Public Relations & Marketing, 2020)

Jennifer Miller (B.S., ’05) was hired by Freese and Nichols, Inc. to expand and lead its Stormwater Services projects in Georgia and the southeast United States. Miller is a senior environmental scientist who works with metropolitan communities to address challenges related to urban development, and has spent more than 20 years managing and supporting a variety of storm water, water quality, permitting and water management projects.


Samantha Buck (B.S., ’14) married Sarah R. Davis and started a new career at Invitae as a bioinformatics data scientist in 2020. Since graduating, she received her master’s degree in clinical epidemiology, became a certified Medical Laboratory Scientist, trained as a computer scientist, and has now come full circle as a data scientist for a genetic testing company.


In Memoriam

Curtis Starkebaum (D.V.M., ’45)
Paul Foster, Sr. (B.S., ’47; M.Ed., ’60)

Sue Hess (B.S., ’50)
Caroline Shannon (B.S., ’52)
James Hughes (B.S., ’53)
Ernest Deines (B.S., ’55; D.V.M., ’57)
David Colville (B.S., ’56)
Barbara Olsen Slanker (B.A., ’56)
Dr. Edward Corley (B.S., ’57)
The Reverend Paul Kondy (B.S., ’58)
David Drage (B.S., ’59)
Kent Martin (B.S., ’59)

Dr. Donald Baines (B.S., ’61)
Gilford Ehler (B.S., ’61)
Virginia Rutledge (B.S., ’64; CERT, ’69)
Edna Williamson (CERT, ’65; B.S., ’65)
Dale Friedemann M.Ed., ’66)
John McGaugh (B.S., ’66)
John Ryan (M.A.T., ’66)
Cathy Gareis (CERT, ’69; B.A., ’69)
Marilyn Pitchford (B.S., ’69; M.S., ’71)

Mitsuo Minamoto (CERT, ’70; B.E., ’70; M.Ed., ’72)
Arnie Fiscus (B.S., ’71)
David Lengel (B.S., ’71)
Jack DeYoung, D.V.M. (M.S., ’72)
Harlan Terning (CERT, ’74; B.E., ’74)

Beth Stehling (B.S., ’81)
Wayne Slater (B.S., ’83)
Charles Ramsey (B.E., ’86)

Teresa Clark (B.A., ’90)
James Stamatakos (B.S., ’99)

Travis Carman (B.S., ’06)
John Semo (M.C.I.S., ’14)

Dr. Leonard Albright
Archie Aman
Carmen Pando

David Bailey
Paul Bryant
Bernice Gibson
Martha Lilly
Martha Robinson
Marelynn Zipser