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Alumni Profiles

Judy Hesler Jorgensen ’60

Judy Hesler Jorgensen ’60, Milwaukee, Wis., was awarded the Todd Wehr Volunteer Award, recognizing “an individual’s dedication to raising philanthropic funds” for her work with the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Waukesha County Action Network, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and others. “This is a woman who raised four sons, worked full-time as a college dean, and in her retirement decided to continue and expand her community service rather than just resting on her well-deserved laurels,” said Jean Gurney, her nominator. Jorgensen worked for Waukesha County Technical College for 24 years, retiring as the Dean of Academic Support.

Headshot of Jorgensen

John Bickel ’66

Iowa’s governor appointed Cedar Rapids attorney John Bickel ’66 to the Iowa Economic Development Board. The former Cornell trustee chaired the United Way of East Central Iowa 2008 campaign and serves on the boards of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, National Rivers Hall of Fame, Dubuque County Historical Society, The (Iowa) Nature Conservancy, and the Cedar Rapids Symphony Foundation. Bickel is a fellow of the American College of Trial Attorneys, American Board of Trial Advocates, and is recognized in Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition, Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers USA Leading Lawyers in Business. When his firm was flooded last summer, they temporarily worked from the Cornell campus.

Headshot of Bickel

David Newell ’68

David Newell ’68 counts himself a lucky man. Recently retired, Newell spent his career making the new beers in the Pilot Brewery of Miller Brewing Co. Newell even says he was the one who created Red Dog, first, and then Ice House. In truth, he says, the work was unglamorous and mostly involved product evolution, rather than out and out creation. Still, Newell spent 16 of his 26 years with Miller brewing away at Pilot and says he never wanted to leave. “This was my ideal job; equal parts intellectual activities translating scientists and marketers’ requirements and the physical activities of brewing.”

Newell by brewing equipment

Liz Hicken Christiansen ’79

Liz Hicken Christiansen ’79, Iowa City, Iowa, is director of the University of Iowa’s new Office of Sustainability and assistant director of facilities management. Christiansen brings 18 years of experience in recycling, waste reduction, green government, and sustainability in the private and public sectors. She served as deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources since 2002, overseeing a department with 1,100 employees and budget of over $100 million. Under her leadership, it became the first U.S. agency to undertake a Lean effort, more commonly used by industry to continuously analyze operations and trim unnecessary processes and waste. Her husband is Dana Christiansen ’79.

Headshot of Christiansen

Joyce Ann Guzik ’82

Joyce Ann Guzik ’82, a scientist in the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Applied Physics Division, mentored a Cornell Fellow, physics student Andrew Reindel (pictured at right with Guzik), last summer. Guzik has been a scientist at Los Alamos since 1988 and conducts astrophysics research, modeling the interiors and pulsation of the sun and other variable stars, working with many collaborators and students. Guzik and Reindel presented their research at an international solar physics conference in Boulder, Colo., in August. Guzik resumed clarinet and saxophone playing after a 24-year hiatus, and plays with the Los Alamos (N.M.) Community Winds.

Guzik with a student

Polina Wu Cheng ’94

Polina Wu Cheng ’94, a sports psychology officer with the Hong Kong Sports Institute, coached an athlete who competed in the Paralympics for disabled athletes in Hong Kong following the Beijing Olympics. She worked with the athlete, who competed in the equestrian dressage event, for nine months on the psychological aspects of competing, including home advantage/home disadvantage, how to handle media, and how to perform under pressure. In 2008 she traveled for on-site psychological service during world championships in Tianjin, China; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Bangkok, Thailand; and Wels, Austria. She has also traveled to Florence and Venice for work.

Cheng with city backdrop and dome buillding

Joseph Ipsen ’96

Joseph Ipsen’s ’96 job with Postini (part of Google) allows him the freedom to live and work virtually anywhere in the world, but he might find himself settling down soon. After traveling much of the United States in an RV camper van with his then-fiance (now wife) Lindsey, Ipsen has taken up roots in Austin, Texas, for what may be the biggest move of his life—adopting a child from Kazakhstan. With a child (or two!) on the way, the RV is retired and for sale, and Ipsen’s never been more excited working for a company he believes in.

Ipsen hiking in mountains

Brian Fenoglio ’03

If there’s one thing Brian Fenoglio ’03 has learned through the Peace Corps, it’s that “people are basically the same all over the world. People are people wherever they are.” Fenoglio has spent the last nearly year and a half learning that lesson while teaching English in the Eastern European country of Moldova. Motivated by a desire to travel, learn a new language, and to help people, Fenoglio choose the Peace Corps as a way to accomplish all three. And though he’s thoroughly enjoyed the experience—even if he does miss bacon—he’s looking forward to finishing in July 2009 and traveling East Asia with Anderson Muth ’03 and Elizabeth Peet Muth ’04.

Brian climbing spiral stairs