Alumni in the news

Playful painter

The Oskaloosa Herald featured a local mural painted by Lyric Morris-Latchaw '15, who works as a full-time oil painter in Cincinnati, Ohio. (8/29/23)

A sub above

Graham Zomermaand '19 is the new owner of the Subway franchise in Orange City, Sioux Center, Hull and Rock Valley. The N'West Iowa Review talked with him about the leadership transition. (7/21/23)

Coaching strength

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has announced the promotion of Andrew Graber '19 to the role of head strength and conditioning coach for the Tarheels' women's basketball team. (7/19/23)

Data driven

Sam Callahan '19, a third grade teacher at Kinsey Elementary School in Sioux Center, Iowa, has found his niche as Sioux Center School District's data specialist. In an effort to make test scores and report cards more accessible to teachers and parents, Callahan uses ed technology to transform spreadsheets into visual charts and graphs. He even shared his techniques in an impromptu session at the International Society for Technology in Education conference when the presenter didn't show up. The N'West Iowa Review tells his story. (7/13/23)

Enthusiastic about elementary

The Albert Lea Tribune featured Zack Kruger '07, who was recently hired as principal of Lakeview Elementary School in Albert Lea, Minnesota. (7/18/23)

Highly rec-ommended

Due in part to his experience as Northwestern's intramural coordinator, Evan Olesen '23 has been hired as the recreation coordinator for the city of Sheldon, Iowa. The N'West Iowa Review spoke with him about his new role. (7/14/23)

Experienced school leader

The N'West Iowa Review spoke with Stan De Zeeuw '01 about his promotion to superintendent of the Sibley-Ocheyedan School District. (3/27/23)

Dentist celebrates 30 years

Dr. Leanne Bylsma-Mulder '89, the first female dentist in Sioux County, celebrated 30 years in the field on Nov. 2. The Sioux Center News reported on her career. (11/10/22)

From intern to director

Carly Hegstad '14 thought her internship with Lawrence & Schiller would be a temporary placement. Eight years later, she has risen to the ranks of director of digital marketing. SiouxFalls.Business spoke with her about the reasons why she still calls Sioux Falls home. (4/26/22)

Ready to lead

The Cherokee Chronicle Times spoke with Denny Olhausen '91, the next superintendent of the Alta-Aurelia School District. (3/28/22)

Team player

After 31 years of service at Village Northwest Unlimited in Sheldon, Iowa, Karma Funk '90 received the 2021 Outstanding Staff of the Year award. She talked with The N'West Iowa Review about receiving this honor—and her plans to serve her Village family 20 more years. (2/2/22)

Point of reference

The state of Iowa may be short on referees, but Bart Banwart '00 and sons are keeping the ball rolling. WHO13 News in Des Moines interviewed Banwart and sons about their newfound passion for reffing. (1/31/22)

Road warrior

Victor Garcia '20 serves as full-time transportation coordinator for Promise Community Health Center, providing rides to patients in need of transportation to and from their appointments. The N'West Iowa Review interviewed him about the position. (1/19/22)

New banking leader

Dave Van Den Brink '92 has been named president of Peoples Bank in Sheldon, Iowa. The N'West Iowa Review interviewed him about the leadership transition. (1/12/22)

Culturally driven

Adebola Adeyemo '20, a graduate student at Boston University, is one of two research fellows selected for a $5,000 research fellowship by the Institute for Public Relations. Her research will be focused on how cultural intelligence can apply to PR. (12/17/21)

Sustainable bonds

Natural Fiber Welding, a company founded by Dr. Luke Haverhals ’00, was featured in Chemical & Engineering News as one of “10 Start-Ups to Watch." The company uses recycled plant-based materials to make soft goods such as garments, shoes, bags and car seats. (11/21/21)

Business of tech

The N'West Iowa Review talked with Sarah (Halse '19) deVries about her newly developed computer science curriculum at Boyden-Hull School District. (10/15/21)

Amigos launch business

Kelsey (Tilgner ’16) and Weston Van De Berg ’16, along with Michelle (Palafox ’17) Van Beek, are the founders and co-owners of a Spanish-English translation business: Comunicamos Language Services. The N'West Iowa Review interviewed them about the enterprise. (9/3/21)

Books for all

The Telegraph Herald announces Amanda (Karssen '10) Vazquez as the next Dubuque County Library District director, where she plans to increase countywide library access. (8/26/21)

Fourth-generation farmer

Scott Stahl '08, a fourth-generation farmer, serves as president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association. He talked with 605 Magazine about his work. (7/29/21)

Making connections

Meagan (Morrison ’01) Liesveld servesas the executive director of the United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County (Nebraska). The Lincoln Journal Star interviewed her about the position. (6/23/21)

Top prof

Dr. Amanda (Brown ’07) Brouwer, an associate professor of psychology, was honored with the 2020-2021 Professor of the Year Award for Winona State University. (5/17/21)

Back on home soil

As a district conservationist for the Sioux County Soil and Water District, Justin Boersma '09 educates farmers in his home county about conservation practices and ways to implement those practices. He shares more about his role in the N'West Iowa Review. (4/29/21)

Honored instructional coach

Michelle TeGrootenhuis '93 serves as a literacy instructional coach for the MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District. She was honored as the 2021 Iowa Reading Teacher of the Year, and the N'West Iowa Review interviewed her about her work. (4/28/21)

Financial adviser

Tony Vande Brake '13 was recognized as one of the N'West Iowa Review's "20 under 40" young leaders in the region. Vande Brake is a financial adviser at Crossroads Financial Planning, a company he started in 2017. (4/1/21)

Leaving a legacy

During his 30+ year teaching and coaching career, Lyle Lundgren focused on building relationships with and among all students. Also a leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes ministry, Lundgren was interviewed by the N'West Iowa Review about his standout career. (4/8/21)

Supporting student success

Dr. Matt Foss '01 serves as an associate professor of theatre and film at The University of Toledo. He received the 2021 institutional Mid-American Conference Outstanding Faculty Award for Student Success, which recognizes faculty who support and develop students inside and outside of the classroom. (3/11/21)

High-end design

Sophie (Eicher '09) Ulibarri specializes in designing luxurious and high touch event stationery, primarily focusing on weddings and social engagements. Shoutout Colorado talked with Ulibarri about her experience in starting her own business. (3/2/21)

Nurse + photographer

Cherish (Henry '19) Shuka is a maternity nurse at Mary Greeley Hospital in Ames, Iowa. When COVID-19 canceled the hospital's newborn portrait service, Shuka began taking photos for patients during her time off. USA Today interviewed her about her service. (2/28/21)

Innovative teacher

Robbie Cundy '07, a math teacher at Sioux Center High School, was one of six educators honored with the 2021 Iowa STEM Teacher Award. The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council interviewed Cundy and his students. (2/17/21)

Words of advice

Jeannine (Lovas '04) Bryant, owner of a senior move management company in Lincoln, Nebraska, published a new book titled "Keep the Memories, Not the Stuff." The Lincoln Journal Star shares about Bryant and her rightsizing expertise. (1/29/21)

Floral enthusiast

As a college student, Kari (Vander Plaats '13) Hickman worked part time at Petals and Perks in Sioux Center, Iowa. She took ownership of the store at the beginning of 2021. The Sioux Center News shares her story. (1/20/21)

Named the provost

With more than 20 years of experience in Christian high education, Robin Pals-Rylaarsdam '92 has been named the next provost of Bethel University in Minnesota. Bethel shares more about her new role. (1/8/21)

Rooted in service

Lindsay Squires ’09 is the 2020 winner of the Green Profit/RBI Young Retailer Award. She is the community development manager and events coordinator for Tagawa Gardens in Centennial, Colorado. Green Profit shares about her journey. (9/1/20)

A special bond

Working as a nurse aide in Lincoln, Nebraska, Michaela (Van Riesen '19) Aulner formed a special bond with a 74-year-old COVID-19 survivor. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals shares more. (12/30/20)

Restaurant champion

Ryan Achterhoff '82, chief administrative officer for Pizza Ranch, received the 2020 Industry Champion Award from the Iowa Restaurant Association. He was recognized for his efforts to help Pizza Ranch and other Iowa restaurants survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. The N'West Iowa Review shares more. (11/27/20)

Now the principal too

Tyler Glanzer '10 is now the principal at the George-Little Rock (Iowa) middle and high schools, where he also serves as the activities director. The N'West Iowa Review talked with Glanzer about his roles at the school. (11/25/20)

Research pioneer

Dr. John Swart '90 was named a 2020 RAVE (Recognizing Awarding Valuing Entrepreneurs) honoree in recognition of his work in founding Cytotheryx, a startup biomedical research company that focuses on the development of high-quality sources of primary human liver cells. (11/17/2020)

Consummate gentleman

Cornie Wassink '73 served in Northwestern's advancement office for more than 40 years and was well-known as an athletics official. Following his death in November 2020, the Sioux City Journal published a tribute to him. (11/17/20)

Nominated for a Tony Award

Cora Vander Broek '00, an Orange City native and Northwestern theatre graduate, has been nominated for a Tony Award for her role in a Broadway production. The Sioux City Journal interviewed Vander Broek about her nomination. (10/21/20)

First responders

After volunteering as firefighters with the Orange City Fire Department during their time at Northwestern, Scott Arft '07, Brad White '09 and Taylor Malm '11 continue to serve as first responders. The N'West Iowa Review shares more about their service. (09/20/20)


Bill Westrate '94, a member of Northwestern's Board of Trustees, has been named the new CEO of American Family Insurance. WMTV shares more about the new role Westrate will fill in 2022. (8/12/20)

Promoted to principal

After teaching in Iowa's Sioux Center Middle School for 12 years, Eli Ellis '02 is now the school's principal. The N'West Iowa Review talked with Ellis about his new leadership role (8/27/20)

Dream job

Ashley (Evans '12) Anderson always dreamed of becoming a therapist, and she's now providing behavioral health services at Sioux Center Health. The N'West Iowa Review shares her story. (7/25/20)

Avid collector

When he's not assisting Northwestern science students with their coursework, Randy Van Peursem '92 will likely be found working on a diorama in his basement. The N'West Iowa Review shares more about his collection of nearly 5,000 figures from "Star Wars," "Star Trek" and "Lord of the Rings." (7/25/20)

Brothers, teammates

Jared Kirkeby '12, assistant coach for the Red Raider baseball team, and his brother Dylan Kirkeby, who's a current pitcher for the Raiders, are making the most of the rare opportunity to be teammates this summer. The Argus Leader shares their story. (7/18/20)

Going pro

Standout Red Raider baseball player Drew Schutt signed a professional contract with the Salina Stockade in the Pecos League. The N'West Iowa Review interviewed Schutt about his baseball career. (6/9/20)

County treasurer

Dan Zomermaand '93 has been appointed as the interim county treasurer for Sioux County (Iowa). The N'West Iowa Review interviewed Zomermaand about his new role. (6/3/20)

Skilled storyteller

Sarah (Wedel '16) Schweinsberg is a skilled storyteller, and her work was recently recognized by World Magazine. (5/21/20)

On the front lines

Nicole (Jacobs '14) Pluim of Orange City answered the call to serve as a nurse in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. The N'West Iowa Review shares about her experience. (5/4/20)

Honored educator

KCAU shares a story about Todd Siefker '92, the 2021 Teacher of the Year for the Sioux City Community School District. (4/20/20)

Taking the mound

AJ Nitzschke '19, a standout Northwestern baseball player, signed a professional contract to pitch for the Sioux City Explorers. KTIV interviewed Nitzschke about the opportunity. (4/1/20)

Making an impact

Jerome Hoegh '10 is a teacher and coach with the West Sioux Community School District in Hawarden, Iowa. In an interview with KSOM radio, he says he strives to make a positive impact on his students and athletes. (2/21/20)

Writing history

Andrew Klumpp '10 is the editor of the “Annals of Iowa,” a scholarly journal published by the State Historical Society of Iowa. The N'West Iowa Review shares more about Klumpp's role. (2/20/20)

City leader

Earl Woudstra '78, former athletic director for Northwestern College, is now serving as the city administrator for Orange City. The N'West Iowa Review shares more about his new role. (12/18/19)

Future physician

Nnenna Nwaelugo graduated with honors from NWC and is now a student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She was introduced to medicine as she watched her father, a physician, care for patients in Africa. Nnenna hopes establish a hospital that will address healthcare deficiencies. Read more at (11/12/19)

Orchestra teacher

Laura (Van Ommeren '83) Haverdink is the orchestra teacher for Iowa's MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District. Under her leadership, the program has grown from 75 students to 180 musicians. The N'West Iowa Review shares more about Haverdink and her work with students in grades 3 through 12. (11/7/19)

Peace Corps volunteer

Amanda Sliva '13 spent more than two years in Ecuador, where she served as a youth and family development volunteer. The Ashland Gazette shares more about her experience with the Peace Corps. (10/16/19)

Nationally recognized teacher

Alison (Sadler ’05) Ter Horst was named one of the greatest teachers in the United States for 2019, one of only 40 selected nationwide to receive a Milken Educator Award. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader shares more about her and the award. (10/16/19)

Building community relationships

Brody Van Roekel '16 serves as the director of Atlas: Lincoln, a nonprofit in Lincoln, Nebraska, that establishes relationships and offers Christian-based peer-support to the community. The Lincoln Journal Star shares more about Van Roekel's work. (9/21/19)

Decorated educator

When he was enrolled at Northwestern the first time, Ted De Hoogh '68 put his education on hold to serve in the Vietnam War. After serving with the Naval Reserves, he earned his art education degree. The Sioux Center News shares about his 50 years as an educator. (8/17/19)

Aiding in accountability

Michael Holm '06 serves as the chief data scientist for Covenant Eyes. He received the company's Plagioclase Award in 2018 for his contributions toward Covenant Eyes' Screen Accountability software. The Christian Post shares more about Holm and his work. (8/4/19)


Jessie Huitink '11 serves as the director of the Foster Grandparent Program in N'West Iowa. The N'West Iowa Review shares a story about Huitink's role and the joy she finds in it. (7/25/19)

Advocate for athletes

Matt Schmidt '00 serves as the director of Maverick health & performance and is the head athletic trainer at Minnesota State University. The Mankato Free Press shares why he was selected for the position. (7/11/19)

Exceptional athletic director

Bob Boerigter '70, former director of athletics at Northwest Missouri State University and former commissioner of the MIAA, was awarded the 2019 D2 CCA Award of Merit by The Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association. (6/19/19)

School leader

Janelle (Fikse ’98) Brouwer is the new superintendent of the Marion Independent School District (Iowa). The Gazette shares about her career in education and her thoughts on leading the district. (5/29/19) 

New vision

While a Northwestern student, Aric Waltz '16 envisioned a career as a physical therapist–until an injury required that he go through physical therapy himself. He changed his career path and is now pursuing a degree in optometry at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. (4/29/19)

Pastor Emily

Rev. Emily (Fischer '07) Munger shares with the Capital Journal about her journey to becoming a pastor, including how her youth leader began calling her "Pastor Emily" and asked her to preach when she was 15. (3/8/19)

Super hero principal

Kevin Derr '87 serves as the principal of Holland Heights Elementary School in Holland, Mich. Derr shares about his passion for education and service in this video produced by Engedi Church. (1/23/19)

Humble servant

Dr. Clint Lutterman '98 was recognized by the Perry (Iowa) Rotary Club as the 2018 Perry Civil Servant of the Year. In addition to his physical therapy practice at the hospital in Perry, Lutterman provides sports medicine care to local high school athletes. The Perry News shares more. (1/7/19)

Looking to the next frontier

For as long as he can remember, Jim Christensen '79 has been fascinated by space, distinctly remembering the day Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. Decades later, the former educator aims to inspire kids to love space too as he serves as the executive director for the ShareSpace Foundation at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Sioux City Journal shares his story. (12/19/18)

Spreading kindness

Paula Hodgson '04, a special education teacher at Hinton Community Schools (Iowa), collaborated with fellow teachers to install positive sayings about spreading kindness on the doors of restroom stalls in the district's middle and high schools. The Le Mars Daily Sentinel shares the story. (9/10/18)

Ministry leader

The N'West Iowa Review shares the story of Rob Roozeboom '01 and Rise Ministries, the organization he founded that continues to grow through music festivals and service opportunities. Roozeboom was honored with the Northwestern Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service to Humankind Award in 2008. (8/30/18)

Understanding emotions

Jo Thyr '82 is a behavioral health therapist at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center, Iowa, where she works closely with Michelle (Palafox '18) Van Beek, the center's behavioral health coordinator and interpreter. Thyr also serves as an adjunct professor of social work at Northwestern. The Sioux Center News shares about her journey to becoming a therapist. (7/9/18)

Church planter

Rev. Ben Aguilera '12 is taking the lead on planting a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural church Holland, Michigan. The Holland Sentinel interviewed Ben about The Boulevard (BLVD) church. (8/7/18)

Helping hands

After a tornado swept through Marshalltown, Iowa, on July 19, Renee (Hurley ’16) Aamodt, a construction associate with the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity team, coordinated volunteer efforts to repair homes and clean up debris. Read more in the Times Republican.  (7/30/18)

Coaching duo

Collin McBride '17 and Chase Davis '17 started as baseball coaches with Thundercat Academy in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, after college, and became the owners of the organization in December 2017. The Lake Mills Leader tells the duo's journey to owning the baseball and softball academy. (7/2/18)

Sailor of the Year

Chief Petty Officer Jean Yusten, a 2008 Northwestern College alumna, was named the Navy Shore Sailor of the Year by the U.S. Navy during a ceremony at the Peantagon in Washington, D.C. Read more about her honor in the Sioux Center News. (6/1/18)

New dental practice

Sioux Center News shares a story on Dr. Trevor Kuiper '09 and his new dental practice in Sioux Center, Iowa. (6/1/18)

Training for the big leagues

The Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise tells Benjamin Loftis' '15 journey of becoming a strength and conditioning coach for the San Diego Padres organization. (05/29/18)

A+ teacher

Brian Tigges ’93, a social studies teacher at Carroll High School in Carroll, Iowa, was named an A+ teacher in Carroll Broadcasting’s 2018 Teacher of the Year Contest. (4/10/18)

Family business

Mandy Boersma '02 was featured in the N'West Iowa Review's "20 under 40" publication, which recognizes young leaders in the region. She serves as the business manager of Fred's Plumbing and Heating in Hospers, Iowa, which her grandfather started in 1972. (3/3/18)

Thinking outside the box

Rachel Kinsinger '14 served as a child life specialist at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital in California. She is featured on the Association of Child Life Professionals website for her innovative approach to preparing children for non-anesthesia MRI scans. (3/20/18)

Honored attorney

Jeff Wright '95, an attorney at Heidman Law Firm in Sioux City, Iowa, has been named a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a premier legal association in North America. (3/13/18)

Coaching with distinction

The Newton Daily News reports on the coaching career of Jerry Hulsing '90 and his honor of receiving the 2018  Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Golden Plaque of Distinction Award in basketball. (3/1/18)


Chip Reece ’04 wrote the first graphic novel ever to star a superhero with Down syndrome. “Metaphase” features a main character, Ollie, who is named after Chip’s son, who also has Down syndrome. The Hillsboro Free Press shares more. (2/21/18)

Work in Progress

Lee Stover '10, a Christian hip-hop artist, released his first album, "Work in Progress," in January 2018. Read more from the N'West Iowa Review. (1/30/18)

More than a brush with success

The N'West Iowa Review featured Frank Vogel '47 and Drew Vogel '72 after they were inducted to the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in December 2017. The Vogels were recognized for their leadership of Diamond Vogel Paints in Orange City. Both men have served on Northwestern's Board of Trustees. (12/10/17)

Missionary nurse

As a nursing student at Northwestern, Sarah Kanoy ’12 participated in two medical mission trips to East Africa, during which she discovered her love for serving as a nurse and sharing Jesus Christ. She followed God's call and now serves as a missionary in Kenya. The Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise shares her story. (11/30/17)

Hall of Famer

Bryan Case '95, 2009 Red Raider Club Coach of the Year, was inducted to Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2017. The Cherokee Chronicle Times offers some highlights from his coaching career. (11-10-17)

Called to Haiti

Kenzie Small '14, a teacher at Sioux Falls Christian Schools, took a sabbatical year to teach at the Jean Alexis Kuislin Christian Academy in Haiti. 

Recognized leadership

After leading his team to a state title, Aaron Thomas '02 was named the Des Moines Register's 2017 All-Iowa boys' cross country coach of the year. (11/10/17)

All in the family

Brothers Elijah, Josh and Matthew Dahl wrestle for the Red Raiders–and are coached by their father, Rik Dahl '97, who was an All-American wrestler for Northwestern. The Sioux City Journal shares their story. (11/2/17)

Take a bow

Brady Greer Huffman '10 was featured in The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California, highlighting his career in theatre. He serves as the technical director for La Sierra University’s theatre program, a drama instructor for Redlands Christian School and a sponsored director for Loma Linda University’s Humanities Program. (10/26/17)

Servant heart

KMEG News recognized Brittany (Klinkenborg '12) Busch for her work as an early childhood teacher and volunteer. (10/31/17)

Sights set on athletic administration

Ryan Christy '17 is pursuing a master's degree  in business with a specialization in intercollegiate athletics administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Business. Christy was just one of 12 graduate students accepted into the highly competitive program for the 2017–18 academic year. (9/25/17)

Marching on

Dan Mangold '10, Matt Honken '15 and Drew Lemke '17 direct the award-winning Pride of the Dutchmen Marching Band of MOC-Floyd Valley High School in Orange City. The Sioux City Journal shares their story. (9/30/17)

Always teaching

Jay Rozeboom '84, a member of Northwestern's 1983 national champion football team, says his success as a coach is greatly influenced by former Northwestern football coach Larry Korver. As head coach, Rozeboom has led the West Lyon High School football team to great success, including several state titles, as reported by the Sioux City Journal. (8/25/17)

Carrying the bag

ESPN interviews Michael Greller '00 on his journey from teaching sixth grade math to caddying for professional golfer Jordan Spieth.

Drawn to sound

Keely Wright-Ogren '13 received the 2017 Robert E. Cohen Sound Achievement Award from the United States Institute of Theatre Technology while attending graduate school at the University of Idaho.

Coach of the year

The Sioux City Journal features Adam Vander Schaaf '99, head boys' basketball coach at Sergeant-Bluff-Luton. The paper named Vander Schaff the Siouxland Basketball Coach of the Year after the  2017 season. (3/21/17)