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Alumni Profiles

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Professor emeritus of biology Paul Christiansen was honored for his pioneering work to preserve and restore prairies when Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, named a seven-acre prairie for him on Earth Day weekend in April. About 250 friends, colleagues, and prairie enthusiasts—including Katrina Garner (pictured)—attended the dedication, which included a prairie planting and ceremony featuring speakers Jean Wiedenheft '98, land steward at the nature center, and Elizabeth Hicken Christiansen '79, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.


Paul Christiansen

Following a long and distinguished career in social work, Florence O'Kieffe Beeman '43 of Tulsa, Okla., became a professor at Tulsa Community College, teaching Human Sexuality and Aging for over 10 years. She retired for good in her late 70s and has traveled extensively, including 17 Elderhostels worldwide. Florence now enjoys a slower pace of life at University Village Retirement Community, but stays active as a volunteer for AARP and Restore Hope, and facilitates discussions at her book club. Two years ago she was named one of seven "Incredible Women of Purpose" by Community Spirit magazine.


Florence O'Kieffe Beeman '43

Bob Hilmer '62 became the all-time boys' basketball wins leader among Iowa coaches this year, with a career 691 wins. He coaches at WACO High School, a consolidated school district in the southeast Iowa community of Wayland, the latest stop on a 43-year coaching odyssey. Bob played football, basketball, and baseball at Cornell and was influenced by Coach Paul Maaske, Cornell's all-time leader in basketball victories. "I've had great support from my wife of over 40 years, Sharon, my four kids, and my 10 grandchildren," Bob told the Burlington Hawk Eye. "I couldn't have coached this long without someone as supportive as Sharon."

Bob Hilmer '62

Mental health therapist Sharon Carriere Hinze '65 has a busy private practice in Spokane, Wash., specializing in working with people court-ordered to therapy because of sexual misbehavior. "With the current political climate and hysteria related to the really dangerous predators, this is not a popular thing to do even though I work with the lowest-risk offenders who reoffend at very low rates," she writes. "Nevertheless, I find this a fascinating and challenging field." Sharon has one grandson, who lives with her youngest son and his wife in Madison, Wis.

Sharon Carriere Hinze '65
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