Alumni Updates — Spring 2017

We hope you enjoy reading all the latest personal and professional updates from our BIC alumni. We post these updates once each year, usually during the spring semester. We also post various alumni interviews throughout the year. If you would like to contribute an update for a future post, please email us at BIC@baylor.edu. Enjoy!

Emily Wininger Callahan (’00) and Jason Callahan (’00) just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. They live in Memphis where Emily is the Chief Marketing Officer, for ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the largest healthcare charity in America. For the past two years St. Jude has been named the highest quality brand of any brand in the Harris Interactive Survey of over 95,000 consumers and 3,500 for-profit and non-profit brands. Emily serves as the vice chair for the Memphis Brand Initiative and is on the board of the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis. Jason is the VP for HR and Risk Management for Truck Pro, the nation’s largest independent distributor of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts. He serves on the national board for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and First Tee of Memphis. They have two children, a daughter, Emerson (7) and son, Jennings (4) who are Baylor Bear fans already.

Craig Henderson (’00) graduated from Baylor with a BS in Computer Science.  He graduated from University of the Pacific School of Law in 2006, and has been practicing civil litigation in Las Vegas, Nevada, since.  He and his wife, Samantha M. Henderson, MSN, APN, FNP have two children, Gwendolyn, born April 8, 2016, and Floyd, born April 17, 2014.  They enjoy spending as much time as they can with the kids during their free time, including hiking at Red Rock and Mt. Charleston near Las Vegas.

John Erickson, MD (’00) graduated from UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and now practices orthopedic surgery in Raleigh, NC. He is a partner at the Raleigh Hand Center and specializes in hand and upper extremity care. His wife Kimberly is a pediatric surgeon at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They have one daughter named Annie, and they enjoy the outdoors, traveling, and watching Baylor football. Read our recent interview with Dr. Erickson.

Becky Oberg (’01)  recently published her second book, a Bible study for sexual assault survivors called “Comforting Tamar“.  It’s available on Amazon and Kindle as an ebook, and the publisher is Nortia Press.

Lynne (Pennington) Kujawa (’02) married fellow Baylor Bear Marcus Kujawa (’03) in Aubrey, TX on September 16, 2016. After graduating from Baylor, Lynne taught mathematics at Plano Senior High School, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2003. She moved to Denver, CO in 2005 and earned her Master’s degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Colorado in 2014. Lynne taught mathematics at Cherry Creek High School from 2005-2016, and moved back to Texas in July 2016 to marry Marcus. They currently live in Dallas, TX , where Lynne teaches mathematics at Highland Park High School and Marcus is a real estate partner at Liberty Banker’s Life.

Julie (Smith) Bennett (’03) and her husband Wesley welcomed their first child, Sadie Evangeline, on June 13, 2016. The Crosby, Texas couple both started 2017 with new jobs and are excited for all that is to come. Wes is a Mechanical Engineer and Julie teaches high school history in Kingwood.

 

Kristin C. Jones, MD (’03)  graduated from Baylor as a pre-med, forensic science major with biology and chemistry minors. She went on to attend medical school at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. She completed one year of Internal Medicine residency at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and 3 years of Psychiatry residency at Emory University before completing an additional year of fellowship training in Geriatric Psychiatry at Emory University.  She has held a faculty position as an Assistant Professor at Emory University overseeing their Electroconvulsive Therapy program for one year, before returning home to Houston, TX where she currently works as an Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine overseeing Geriatric Psychiatry services at Ben Taub Hospital and performing ECT.

Major Trevor Cichowski (’04) is headed back to Japan this summer for a second three-year tour of Asia with the US Air Force. Trevor just finished a year at the Naval War College in Newport, RI, where he earned his second masters degree, this one in National Security Studies.  Trevor and Jenny, and his kids Katie and CJ, can’t wait to explore more of Japan as he settles into his job in Misawa, flying the F-16 and working as the Chief of Safety for the 35th Fighter Wing.  He’ll be in Waco this summer to participate in the TriWaco triathlon, and can’t wait to see how the Baylor campus has grown since he graduated in ’04!

Laurin (Rennell) Samuelson (’05) and her husband of 3.5 years, Jon Samuelson, reside in Austin, TX and are expecting their second daughter in May.  Their daughter, Hanna, will turn two in April.  Laurin has worked at Accenture for over 10 years providing IT Consulting and Sales for government clients.

 

Ashley (Turner) Parker (’05) currently lives in west Plano, Texas with her husband and their dog, a large goldendoodle named Ollie.  After Baylor, Ashley earned her Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and currently works for Expedia, Inc. as the Director & Head of Brand Marketing for Travelocity.  She met her husband, an attorney practicing labor and employment law in Dallas, in 2010 and they have been married for 4 years. They spend their free time running, traveling and keeping up with friends!

Sondra N. Barringer (’06) went on to receive her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Arizona. She recently returned to Texas to take a position as an Assistant Professor of Education Policy and Leadership at the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Her research focus is at the intersection of the governance and finances of colleges and universities, social networks, and organizational theory. She is currently working on two National Science Foundation funded grant projects and teaching courses on higher education governance and leadership, research methods, and statistics. 

Amanda Martinez Beck (’06) is a writer whose work has appeared in Christianity Today, Christ and Pop Culture, Catholic East Texas, and Evangelicals for Social Action. She lives in her hometown of Longview, TX with her husband Zachary, who directs the Honors Program at East Texas Baptist University (Marshall, TX), and their four young children. She blogs about faith, culture, and size-dignity awareness at amandamartinezbeck.com.

Angela Buchanan (’06) — After graduating from the BIC, Angela went to Baylor Law School where she obtained her J.D. in 2009.  She has been a practicing attorney in the Dallas area since that time.  She is married with two beautiful children.  She writes, “The BIC was the best decision I made in my undergraduate career.  It opened up so many things to me.”

Catie (Waggoner) Clark (’06) has spent the last 10 years as a digital consultant for colleges and universities. She recently joined the National Research Center for College and University Admissions as a Director of Digital Marketing, and manages partnerships with schools in more than 15 states. This equates to the jetset life- she took more than 75 flights in 2016. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband Taylor, and their two dogs.

Keisha Ray (’07) is now an assistant professor at Texas State University in the department of philosophy. She specializes in bioethics, research ethics, and racism in medicine. Read our 2016 interview with Dr. Ray.

 

 

Megan (Rapp) Viernes (’07) was recently promoted to Senior Development Finance Adviser within the United States Agency for International Development. In 2017 she received a USAID Superior Honor Award for leading the Africa regional team through the longest and most sustained period of growth in the history of USAID’s guarantee program, growing the Africa portfolio from $484 million to $2.1 billion in just four years.  In July 2016, Megan married Rich Viernes, and they live in Washington D.C. with their yorkie puppy named Oliver.

Carmen Jimenez Kramer (’08) and Alan Kramer (’08) welcomed their twin boys, Parker and Zachary, in September 2016. Carmen and Alan are currently in Atlanta, Georgia where Alan is the Director of Patient Access at Emory Healthcare and an Adjust Assistant Professor in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Carmen is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Lakeview Behavioral Health.

Kelly Driscoll (’09) launched her company HEYDAY Cold Brew, in Austin this spring. They will be expanding throughout Texas later this year. Super smooth, fairly traded, low sugar cold brew in 4 initial anytime flavors; Black, Espresso, Chocolate and Vanilla. Follow the journey @drinkheyday.

 

Anna Stephenson (’09) — After teaching high school English for four years in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta, Anna is the founding Executive Director for the Meridian Freedom Project in Meridian, Mississippi. The Freedom Project is a leadership development fellowship for middle and high school students that is inspired by the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and designed to help kids get on – and stay on – the path to college. In August of 2017, Anna will marry Matt Watson in Woodstock, Vermont, and will continue to reside in Meridian, Mississippi.

Lacey (Melinder) Garner (’10)  and her husband, Jesse, welcomed their son, Keldon James Garner, on October 4, 2016. They currently live in Tyler, Texas where Jesse is the Director of Camper Engagement for Pine Cove Camps. Last year they had the opportunity to travel and study in Turkey, before things got too dangerous! Lacey is staying home with Keldon for now, but plans to return to education, counseling or children’s advocacy in the near future.

Meaghan (McNeill) Bond, (’10) received her PhD in biomedical engineering from Rice University in May 2016. Her work focuses on making low-cost medical diagnostics for use in low-resource settings, specifically diagnostics for anemia and sickle cell disease. Her anemia diagnostic brings the per-test cost from approximately $1.00 in Malawi to under $0.02 while maintaining high accuracy. She has stayed on at Rice as a post-doc to teach and do research. Rice 360 and partners are semi-finalists for a $100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change program; they aim to bring a suite of 17 essential technologies for newborn survival to Malawi and beyond. She looks forward to the work of this incredible team!

Patricia (Leeke) Mwesigwa (’10)  now lives in Washington, DC, with her husband Steven Mwesigwa who works at the Pentagon as a Major in the USAF. She will finish OBGYN residency at Georgetown University Hospital/Washington Hospital Center in June 2018 and is about to start interviews for fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery for 2018-2021.  In their free time they love visiting DC sites (a recent favorite was seeing Hilary Hahn at the Kennedy Center) and having friends over for long dinners.

Raymond L. Panneton (’10) joined the litigation section at Hendershot, Cannon, Martin & Hisey, P.C.in September 2016 where he handles complex business litigation.  Prior to joining HCMH, Ray practiced medical malpractice, pharmaceutical, and medical device litigation with The Talaska Law Firm, PLLC.  Ray continues to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of The Affiliate for the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, as well as an editorial board member for The Houston Lawyer.  He can be contacted at rpanneton@hcmhlaw.com.

Lucas Rodriguez (’10) has gone on to receive his MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Texas at Dallas studying novel bioactive bone cement for orthopedic and craniofacial surgery, and new vented dental implant abutments for the mitigation of residual excess dental luting cement in cement-retained crown prosthetics. During graduate school Dr. Rodriguez pursued a concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management. Prior to completing his PhD, Lucas co-founded and is now President of CerSci Therapeutics (www.CerSci.com). CerSci is a pharmaceutical development firm located in Dallas, Texas concentrating efforts on development of non-opioid therapeutics for the alleviation of acute and chronic pain. CerSci has a lead non-opioid drug candidate approximately 12-15 months away from human trials. CerSci has received funding from the National Institute of Health, local Texas angel investors, and has begun talks with Big Pharma. Dr. Rodriguez has experience in start-up development, business model generation, business development, and sales.

Caleb Bollenbacher (’11) is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children at Simmons College. When he’s not doing homework he stays busy as the writer of The Adventures of Marlin & Percy, a series of comic books and novels created with fellow Baylor grad Tyler Ellis.

Chase Kanaly (’11)  is entering in his third season with the Houston Astros as the CRM Manager. It has been such a blessing to work in the sports industry for my hometown team! This past August he decided to go back to school and is currently pursuing a MBA at Arizona State University! This past November he vacationed to Orlando with his girlfriend, Lindsay Putnam (BA ’13) as they celebrated their fifth year of dating. God has truly been such a great provider!

Danielle (Grootemaat) Smith (’11) and her husband, Chris, along with their two-year-old daughter, Elise, are moving from New Bern, NC to Washington D.C., where they will learn German before moving to Berlin in 2018. Chris, a Marine Corps officer, was selected to be an Olmsted Scholar, which affords the family this fantastic opportunity for immersion and travel while Chris also pursues a graduate degree in Berlin. Danielle graduated with her MBA in December 2015, and continues to work as a consultant for The Resource Group (Ascension Health).

Grant Nelson (’12) is practicing privacy/tech law in D.C. working for the Network Advertising Initiative, a self-regulatory organization that creates and enforces a privacy code of conduct for online advertising technology companies. Continuing the BIC tradition of blending different industries, his job allows him to read and write computer code in between reading and writing codes of conduct and analyzing policy consequences of various regulations. Since his Baylor graduation he co-founded and wrote the code for the MEANS Database, a now nationwide charity that makes it as easy for restaurants and food manufacturers to donate food to food pantries as it is for anyone to order an Uber.

Allison Temnick (’12) graduated from Baylor with a Marketing and Management degree, intent on pursuing a career with a charitable organization. After brief internship and contract positions with Compassion International, AmeriCorps, and the Spanish Ministry of Education, she started a Master of Nonprofit Administration program through the University of Notre Dame. She started a career with United Way in Salt Lake City, Utah and currently works for United Way of San Diego County. Allison oversees several corporate fundraising efforts, as well as the Athlete Ambassador program and Emerging Leaders Council.

Seth Oldham (’13) and Beth Harris Oldham (’14, MSW ’15) recently celebrated the birth of their first child, Corrie Elisabeth Oldham, on December 30, 2016. Seth is the Director of Student Affairs at the University of Dallas and Beth is a social worker at The Senior Source in Dallas.

 

Shannon Blankenbeker (’14) — After graduating from Baylor in 2014, Shannon Blankenbeker continued her education at Baylor Law School where she will be graduating on April 29, 2017. Shannon has been hand-selected to work at the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office by recently-elected Governor Chris Sununu. She is excited to fling her green and gold afar in the Northeast and to utilize her incredible education as an attorney for the state of New Hampshire.

Taylor Rexrode (’14) — After 2.5 years in marketing, Taylor joined her mother as a real estate partner in 2017. Under Rexrode Realty, Taylor and her mother now assist in the buying and selling of residential property in the eastern and northern Dallas areas. In her spare time, Taylor performs improvisational comedy and writes sketch comedy at Dallas Comedy House in Dallas and Four Day Weekend in Fort Worth. She has been writing and performing for the past two years.

Ryan Carbone (’16) is currently starting a job as a medical scribe at Methodist Hospital in Richardson while re-applying to medical school. In addition, he is also working on publishing two fiction novels that he wrote during the course of his undergraduate career at Baylor.

 

Ivon Gonzalez (’16) graduated a semester early in December 2016 and began working as an IT Operations Engineer at General Motors in January 2017.

 

 

Andrew James Salinas (’16) is currently working as a congressional intern at the District Office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D). He is also working as the Community Engagement Coordinator at Project GRAD Houston, a non-profit that has provided free educational resources to socio-economically disadvantaged communities for the past 25 years. At the moment, he is weighing law school offers from American, Pepperdine, University of Houston, Southern Methodist University, Wake Forest, Washington & Lee, George Mason, St. John’s, and Denver Sturm.

Tae Hun Park (’16) is currently attending UNC School of Law at Chapel Hill as a first year J.D. candidate. He has done pro bono projects with public defenders, and will work at the First Court of Appeals of Texas over the summer in Houston. He writes, “I am proud to say that I am excelling in public speaking, and I am certain that Rhetoric had a lot to do with it! Sic’em!”

Stephen Schilter (’16) is currently finishing off the last few months of a year with the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States in Houston and waiting to see if they offer to keep him on to stay in Houston. Last week they hosted a multi-billion dollar German defense company and set up/organized meetings during their visit to Houston. Fingers crossed that they have a job opening sometime down the line. He is also in the middle of sending out applications to law schools and waiting to hear back.

Rachel Van Den Berg (’16) is currently working on her Master of Taxation and Juris Doctor dual degree at Baylor.  Rachel continues to serve as the Chapter President of the Baylor Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  She is engaged and will be married to a fellow Baylor Bear this May.

 

Meg Wilder (’16)  After graduating from Baylor, Meg accepted a position in the Office of Advancement at Houston Baptist University. She is active in the Young Adults Ministry at Houston’s First Baptist Church. In her free time, she enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, reading, and running her cat’s Instagram account, which now has over 1,000 followers (@lilythelilliputian).

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