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Alumni Profiles

Nancy Price ’46

Nancy Price ’46 was a poet before she turned to fiction to write many novels, including one adapted for the screen and starring Julia Roberts: Sleeping with the Enemy. Now her prize-winning poems, pulled from the pages of national magazines, newspapers, and books, form a new collection titled Two Voices and a Moon, illustrated with Nancy’s drawings, etchings, and silk-screen designs. The book was advanced by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Karolyi Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study and Conference Center. Nancy resides in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and near Orlando, Fla. Info:

Nancy Price

Carolyn Brown ’58

Carolyn Brown ’58 had been photographing ancient architecture since 1980 when her talents were commissioned for two books on Egypt. Through the years she has received travel grants for photography projects in Iraq, Rwanda, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. She exhibits frequently; however, her largest event took place in 2000, when over 200 mural-sized images were shown in “Sacred Space, Man and the Divine in Mexico, Central America and Southwestern United States.” She has also published several books on her adopted home town, the latest being Dallas: Shining Star of Texas in 2004.

Jack Sunderlage ’61

Jack Sunderlage ’61 received the Governor’s Medal of Excellence from Utah’s Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. The medal recognizes those who have made career achievements or provided distinguished service. After his first retirement from Hewlett-Packard, Sunderlage consulted with the Utah Partnership for Education to help create six high-tech high schools in Utah. Since 2005, he has been president and CEO of ContentWatch Inc., a Salt Lake City-based Internet filtering service, best known for its Net Nanny software, which gives parents more options to decide where their kids surf on the Web. He has been recognized by Connect Magazine as one of the 25 People Who Most Influenced Business in Utah and by Utah Business Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Utah.

Jack Sunderlage

Mark E. Weston II ’74

Mark E. Weston II ’74, Dunwoody, Ga., is the national education strategist for Dell Inc. In May 2007, Mark completed his doctoral work at the University of Colorado at Denver and received a dual appointment as a research professor in the graduate school of public affairs and the graduate school of education and human development. The shifting paradigm in education is the focus of his work. As part of that work, Mark is helping to establish a Center for Profound Change in Education at UCD and is exploring a relationship between that center and the education department at Cornell College.

Mark Weston

Edgar T. Thornton III ’80

Edgar T. Thornton III ’80 retired as a senior federal government executive and manager after serving three U.S. presidents in positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Departments of Interior and Energy, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Environmental Protection Agency. He is director of the Environmental Health, Safety and Security Department at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His team manages over $3 million annually in federal and state grants, trains over 10,000 students annually, and provides a wide number of programs related to environmental issues, workplace safety, emergency preparedness and homeland security training for students, government officials, and industry.

Edgar Thorton

Jim Sjoerdsma ’82

Jim Sjoerdsma ’82, of Redwood City, Calif., has been married for 18 years to his wife, Courtney, and has two high-school age children—Paige, a junior, plays competitive soccer; Dustin, a freshman, runs cross country and track. Jim joined Genencor International in 1990 and is senior vice president of human resources, supporting a global organization of approximately 2,200 employees. He was instrumental in Genencor being ranked in 2005 as the No. 1 “Best Medium-Sized Company to Work for in America.” Jim specializes in implementing innovative work systems that give a competitive edge by driving commitment, fun, and work/life balance as part of the company’s culture.

Jim Sjoerdsma

Kelly Neppl ’93

Kelly Neppl ’93 is an American Sign Language interpreter and instructor for the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Kelly completed ASL training in 1997 at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and worked as a freelance interpreter before returning to Iowa in 2003. “I absolutely loved freelancing in Rochester. I found myself interpreting in situations where I would never be in my own life. I’ve interpreted in drug and alcohol programs, cruise ships, workshops, concerts, plays, classrooms, and hospitals,” she says. Among her highlights: Interpreting for Indigo Girls and Bruce Springsteen concerts. Here, she signs “I love you” in American Sign Language.

Kelly Neppl

Cecil Gooch ’02

Cecil Gooch ’02, Barstow, Calif., might be on your television right now. Gooch, who goes by the stage name Portis Hershey, has been in national commercials for Boost Mobile, PSP, Nike, KFC, Reese’s Puffs, and Burger King since moving out west after graduation. He says his ultimate goal is to get into film and television, and he’s made strides in that area by scoring roles in movies like Accepted and The Boys & Girls Guide to Getting Down, and even making the ultimate “you know you’ve arrived when…” appearance on the television show Entourage as himself.

Cecil Gooch