FSAA Milestone update October 2014

Class of 1994

Bill Miner

Bill was recently promoted to the role of partner-in-charge of the Portland office of Davis Wright Tremaine, Portland’s fifth largest law firm. Bill plans to devote four to five years on expanding the firm’s footprint before returning to his practice.

Class of 1995

Lori Balbi

Lori retired from the Foreign Service and is back in the Pacific Northwest; however, she feels she is far too young to be retired. Once she is settled in, she will pursue part-time work and will volunteer with a variety of organizations, including the Ford Scholar Alumni Association. After spending half of her adult life abroad in seven countries and traveling in an additional 47, she’s happy to be home!

 Sarah Beth (Smith) Byrum

Sarah Beth just began her 15th year of running All That! Dance Company – a dance studio that serves the Eugene/Springfield area with two studio locations. She recently received a Community Partnership Award given by the University of Oregon’s Dance Department for her work furthering dance education. Her dancers were featured in a Register-Guard newspaper story and video for earning a national title from Spotlight Dance Cup in July. Finally, her dancers were chosen to dance during the half-time show at the nationally televised Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

Jeri (Greenberg) Finn

On Sept. 20, 2014, Jeri married Brendan Finn, chief of staff to Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. The couple exchanged vows at the Portland Art Museum before a honeymoon in Spain. The couple looks forward to settling into their Northeast Portland home and raising Jeri’s 10-year-old son together.

Chris Schulze

Chris and his wife are expecting their second child, due to arrive in early January. Like with their first, Adelade, this baby – boy or girl – will be a surprise!

Class of 1996

Annika (Wallace) Mosier

Annika recently started a new position as an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Denver.

 Class of 1999

Danielle (Quimby ) Currey

This year Danielle was elected to the Ford Scholar Alumni Association Board of Directors; began her teaching career at Clackamas Community College; and has had a successful first year of medical practice after opening a new clinic in Clackamas, Ore.

 Matt Gerber

Matt was recently appointed assistant director of research for gynecologic oncology at the University of Minnesota. Before coming to the division three years ago, Matt spent much of his professional career living and working abroad as he ran a humanitarian aid organization. Since coming to the University, Matt has used his patient-centered approach and project management skills to help execute clinical research studies and administer the Gyn Onc Translational Working Group. In his new role, Matt will spearhead a comprehensive fundraising and public relations strategy aimed at deepening the connection between the university’s research and the philanthropic community.

Megan (Johnson) Ludena

In December 2013, Megan earned a Master of Nursing Degree with a Nursing Educator Certificate from Washington State University. In July 2014, she accepted a position as visiting professor of nursing at Linfield Good Samaritan School of Nursing in Portland, Ore.

Class of 2000

Zach Evenson

After receiving his Ph.D. in materials science in 2012, Zach started postdoctoral research in the Institute for Materials Physics in Space at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne, Germany. As part of his research, he uses high energy X-rays or beams of neutrons to look inside of metallic liquids, which are levitated using a special apparatus. By examining the structure and atomic motions inside of certain liquid metal alloys that form special materials called bulk metallic glasses, he works to better understand the origin of their remarkable physical properties and help shed light onto some outstanding issues in condensed matter physics.

Class of 2003

Ellyn Canfield Nealon

Ellyn was recently appointed director of New York City Mayor Bill de Blaso’s Office of Special Projects and Community Events.

Class of 2004

Paul Ainsworth

Paul and his wife, Erin, recently celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary.

Tommy (Hien) Pham

Tommy founded a biotech company, Nzumbe, in June 2012 and has received more than $300,000 in funding thus far for research in the field of epigenetics. In March 2013, Tommy survived a house fire that started while he was sleeping. He escaped just in time, but lost everything – including his Ford Family Scholarship certificate! He married his high school sweetheart in September 2013 after 11 years of dating, and they purchased their first home in April. In June, he joined Nike as a patent liaison, where he helps identify and capture new innovation for Nike.

Class of 2006

Robert Russell

Robert lives in Seoul, South Korea, and teaches at an international preschool. He absolutely loves his work – so much so that he recently enrolled in an online graduate program at Concordia University of Portland to earn his Master of Education in early childhood education. He continues to enjoy traveling and has planned some exciting trips. He looks forward to finishing his program and continuing to work in education.

 Jennifer (Pust) Torres

Jennifer married Matthew Torres on Sept. 14.

Class of 2007

Tsegazeab Gessese

Tsegazeab has entered his first year of dental school at the University of California, San Francisco. He says he is excited! Tsegazeab would like to give a shout out to the class of 2007.

Class of 2008

Whitney (Wolfe) Stewart

Whitney started medical school at the Western University of Health Sciences campus in Lebanon, Ore., and was recently elected class president. She feels like she’s living her life-long dream.

Class of 2010

Michael Leeland

In 1992, Dameon had heard that his teacher, Jeff Leeland, had an infant son who was sick but couldn’t afford the $200,000 transplant that would save his life. Dameon emptied his bank account and gave Jeff everything he had – $60. This act of kindness inspired the school and the community. In less than four weeks, $227,000 came in to save Michael’s life. The experience inspired Jeff’s founding of Sparrow Clubs USA in 1995. Michael Leeland, whose need for a lifesaving bone marrow transplant led to the act of compassion that inspired the nonprofit’s model, recently became the Central Oregon regional director with Sparrow Clubs USA. The nonprofit organization of school-based clubs assists children in medical crisis and their families, both financially and emotionally.

Brianna (Ellis) Smith

Brianna was admitted to a master’s program at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Wash. The three-year midwifery program involves coursework as well as multiple preceptorships with local midwives. At the end of the program, she will be a certified professional midwife.

Class of 2011

Emily White

This October, Emily started a job as a research associate in Chennai, India, for a behavioral economics research nonprofit organization named Ideas42, a J-PAL/IPA affiliate. She works on a project for Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard and Anandi Mani of Warwick on a project intended to better quantify the impact of poverty on cognition.