The Dutch Letter, a Central College alumni newsletter

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hello, Central College alumni, parents and friends! The Central College Dutch Letter, released the first Friday of every month, is intended to keep you in touch with what’s happening on campus and in our communities. Please pass this along to your Central friends.

Link to The Dutch Letter at

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Right Now

Dutch Market

HAPPY POSTING — To connect our Central Community with crafters, artists and service providers, we have created Dutch Market, presenting Central Creations on Facebook!  We provide the venue, YOU post your goods and services on the page! If you are an author with a book to promote, a crafter who makes your own wine or jewelry or handmade items, or you provide a service you want to advertise, this is the place for you! Or perhaps you’re looking to purchase gifts or in search of a realtor or beautician with Central ties — we intend to make Dutch Market your one stop shop! You will find the link to “like” and post on the Dutch Market page.


TOUR TURKEY — Central College Study Abroad announces a sixteen-day educational trip to Turkey. Dr. Terence Kleven will lead you to Christian and Islamic historical sites, and you’ll come away with a better understanding of the modern republic of Turkey. You will be joined by fellow Central College alumni, students, staff and faculty. For more information, visit TourTurkey  The registration deadline is Feb. 1.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY — Central College is seeking nominations for a vice president for finance/treasurer. For more information or to nominate a candidate, visit

COUNTING VOTES — Come to Jasper Winery at 5:30 Jan. 13 to learn about the many methods for counting of votes in an election — and why none of them are entirely fair. Russ Goodman, associate professor of mathematics, will explore these methods through a variety of examples, including an in-depth look at the intriguing election of 1860. Could a different voting scheme have prevented the Civil War? Jasper Winery is located at located at 2400 George Flagg Parkway in Des Moines.

SAVE THE DATE — Homecoming 2015 will be held October 9 – 11! Pictures from Homecoming 2014 are available at Homecoming2014.

BATTER UP! — The baseball staff at Central College will join “Young Pros” on Sunday, Jan. 25, in offering a series of clinics on campus. The "Young Pros" include three minor league baseball players, Jon Musser, Spencer Navin and Jake Yacinich, who will be at the clinics on hitting/base running, fielding, and pitching/catching. For more information and to register online, visit

SUSTAINABILITY BLOG — Read the latest blog post about sustainability at Central College from our faculty and students at Central College at .

OUR TREASURED PAST — Are you tired of storing old ticket stubs, playbills, photographs, lapel pins, beanies and scrapbooks you’ve held onto since graduation? The Central College Archives will store and protect your treasures for years to come! We are dependent upon your donations to build an accurate record of Central’s history. Archives welcome donations from all eras but have a severe lack of items from the ’00s. Please help if you can by mailing your donation to Central College Alumni Relations, Campus Box 5200, 812 University, Pella, Iowa  50219. Digital photographs can also be archived – please identify the people in the pictures you want to share and email them to

MEET THE PROS WITH GLOBAL EXPERTISE! — Did you study abroad while at Central? Have you worked in some capacity with an international focus? We would love to have you return to campus April 17, during our 50th year celebration of study abroad, to be part of a panel of alumni with global experience! If interested, email Pat Joachim Kitzman at

ARE YOU LINKED IN? — If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can easily join Central's alumni group, as well as access more than 5,000 fellow alums on a new feature at You'll enter Central College as the "school" and be able to search for alumni by location, company, career field, major, etc. It's pretty cool! But you have to have a LinkedIn profile — start by creating one today: (LinkedIn is for professional networking.)

HOW HAS LINKEDIN WORKED FOR YOU?  Do you have a story about a successful outcome because of your participation in LinkedIn or other social media?  We would love to hear your stories and share them with students to help them realize the value of social media in job searching and networking. Thanks in advance for sharing — just reply to Pat Joachim Kitzman at

SOCIAL MEDIA — Don’t miss out! Join Central College Alumni on Facebook today at You can also follow us on Twitter @Central_Alums. We’ll see you online!

Little Blaine Van Kooten of Pella officially joined our Legacy Program Aug. 24. Thank you to his proud parents, Colin ’09 and Auburn Van Kooten, for sharing this photograph of Blaine dressed head to toe in Central College gear!Little Blaine Van Kooten of Pella officially joined our Legacy Program Aug. 24. Thank you to his proud parents, Colin ’09 and Auburn Van Kooten, for sharing this photograph of Blaine dressed head to toe in Central College gear!

SEND US A PICTURE — Take a picture of your future legacy student wearing Central gear or showing off their Legacy gift from the college today.  Send your photo to and we’ll be happy to post it here. Did you know your children benefit from your legacy with Central College beginning at birth with a Central College bib? Every five years during the month of their birth, your child will receive another gift from the college. Once they reach high school, they can expect to receive a little something each year until they graduate. Those who make the decision to enroll at Central College are treated to a special welcoming lunch along with their family during freshmen move-in day.

This month read about how chemist and connoisseur Noel Powell ’93 got his first taste for winemaking in Irvine, Calif., while he earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California.

CENTRAL COLLEGE NEWS — Keep checking our home page at for updated news about Central students, alumni, faculty and staff.  This month read about how chemist and connoisseur Noel Powell ’93 got his first taste for winemaking in Irvine, Calif., while he earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California. Or, read about Chris McMorran ’95, who thanks to his experience at Central, lives and works in Singapore.  “If Central ever set out to make anybody into a ‘citizen of the world,’ I think I would fit that description,” he said.

WHAT’S UP? YOUR classmates want an update! Let them know what’s going on in YOUR life and we’ll post it in the newsnote section of Civitas. Tell us about YOUR achievements, fun facts, new children, grandchildren, new job, promotion, retirement, anniversary or a reunion with Central friends! Sharing news with us is just a click away at or online on Civitas.

CAREER CENTER ON TWITTER Follow the Career Center on Twitter! We’re sending out quick announcements about jobs and internships as soon as we receive them. Go to and choose to follow this username: @CentralCareers.

ARCHIVED PHOTOS — We continue to look for names, years and pertinent details about these photos in order to better archive events.  If you know ANY details about the photograph, please email

Archived Photo

Archived Photo

Thanks to your help, we have identified many pictures that were previously hidden away in archives. The Dutch Letter has provided us the opportunity to share them with you. In some cases, it’s no longer possible to identify past students, but that will not stop us from giving you a look into the history of Central College. Check out the previously archived photos to see who has been identified.

TELL YOUR CENTRAL STORY - We want your help telling the Central College story. Do you have a great story about Central? Tell us about it!


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What's Happened

Heritage Lace Tour A Capella Des Moines Reception
Jason Vines Book Signing Senior Winter Celebration
Central RED Holiday Tea Alliance Technologies

EVENT PHOTOS — See pictures from all our alumni events.

Don Huffman

IN MEMORY OF — We have been deeply saddened by the loss of Don Huffman, Ph.D, professor emeritus of Central College, who passed away Dec. 16 at his home in Pella. Huffman, 85, taught biology for 39 years before retiring in 1996. With his wife, Maxine, he helped develop study abroad programs in China and Mexico, including English teaching internships at Zhejiang University. Maxine, a retired professor of English, passed away in 2010. The couple’s children, Kimberley Huffmann '92 and James Huffman '92, both attended Central College. A memorial open house will be held in the Boat-Moore-Weller rooms of the Maytag Student Center on the Central College campus, Sunday, April 19, from 1-4 p.m.  

SAFETY AT CENTRAL COLLEGE — In September, President Mark Putnam and Board Chair Lanny Little ’74 shared a message with employees about Central College’s commitment to ongoing work as it relates to a campus free of discrimination and sexual harassment, misconduct and assault, maintaining a drug-free workplace, preventing child abuse, protecting the environment and providing for public safety, among many other topics. We have made progress on policy and procedure, roles and responsibilities, training and communication.

At this time, we are pleased to announce Peggy Fitch, Ph.D, vice president for student development, as our Title IX Coordinator. In addition, we share Central’s updated Notice of Nondiscrimination, Sexual and Relationship Misconduct Policy and Safety on our Central website. And, early in 2015, an intense schedule of training will continue for students, employees and the Title IX team (i.e., investigators, appeals panel and process advocates).

Richard Phillips

MORE THAN A DINING HALL — Richard Phillips, our new director of dining services, and Central Market were featured in the Des Moines Register. Phillips, 35, a native of Wales, worked at Central for four years before being named director. He also owned a local restaurant, Monarch’s, for 10 years, which helps explain his attention to his customers.  Although Central Market is a college dining hall, “it’s still the hospitality business,” he said.  To read the article, go to Centraldining.

RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM — Students presented over 90 posters as part of the undergraduate research symposium held in Geisler Library Dec. 11. The students produced work from these courses: General Medical Conditions for the Athletic Trainer, The Future of the Past: Modern Spanish American Literature, and Psychological Investigations. Additionally, one-on-one collaborations between faculty and students took place in Economics, Exercise Science, Psychology, Chemistry, Sustainability, Computer Science, Music, Aquatic Toxicology and Mobile Application Development.

Central College Choir

A CAROLING WE WILL GO — Three retirement centers in Des Moines received the annual A Cappella Choir Alumni Caroling on Dec. 21, in which 24 singers participated. The smiles on the faces of those often forgotten in the retirement centers warmed the hearts of all who participated.

CARNEGIE FOUNDATION — Central College was named a finalist for the President’s Award for Community Service by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Central is one of only 16 schools to receive the finalist designation, and one of four finalists in the category of General Community Service. This nationwide designation is part of the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

CANDLELIGHT CONCERT — The A Cappella Choir, Chamber Singers, Handbell Choir and College-Community Orchestra performed their annual Christmas Candlelight Concerts on December 13 and 14 in Douwstra Auditorium. The concert included familiar Christmas classics and portions of Handel’s “Messiah”. Over 500 people attended each evening’s performance, followed by a reception in the Graham Conference Center Atrium.

Alliance Energy Rebate

ALLIANT ENERGY REBATE David Vollmar ’82 of Alliant Energy presented Central College with a check for $18,969.24. The funds were part of a rebate program for energy efficiency measures taken by the campus, particularly with the renovation of the Maytag Student Center.

Helen Hislop Check

GIFT OF A LIFETIME — The exercise science building across from the P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium was renamed the Helen Jean Hislop Center. Helen Jean Hislop (1929-2013), a national leader in Physical Therapy and 1950 Central graduate, was awarded the Central Alumni Award in 1969 and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1978. She served on the Central Board of Trustees from 1981-1998 and spoke at Central’s commencement in 1999. On Nov. 1, relatives of Dr. Hislop presented President Mark Putnam with a $1.5 million dollar gift to the college on behalf of the Helen Jean Hislop Estate.

Campus Events

FINE ARTS EVENTS — View a complete list of fine arts events at Central College throughout the year.

ATHLETICS EVENTS Follow the Dutch online.

Central Spirit Shoppe

Presidential Updates

Mark Putnam

PRESIDENT’S WEBSITE — Check out the website for President Mark Putnam! It’s the go-to place for media, Central family members and visitors to learn more about President Putnam, Central College and topics important to the landscape of higher education.

SOCIAL MEDIA — President Mark Putnam is on Facebook and Twitter. Connect with him now to see what’s happening with Central’s president.

Alumni Trivia

WIN A T-SHIRT — Answer online for the chance to win a T-shirt. The winner’s name is drawn from all correct entries received on the date the newsletter was released. Congratulations to last month’s winner, Mark Den Adel ’89, who responded to the challenge: “What has the exercise science building been named?” The answer was: “Helen Jean Hislop Center.”

“Who will be leading the sixteen-day educational trip to Turkey?” 

Vote Now!

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Upcoming Alumni Events

Cover to Cover
January 29 from 7 - 9 p.m.
Register Now

Pippin at the Civic Center
March 1 from 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Register Now

Alumni Profile

Keith Bowers '08 Ph.D.

Name: Keith Bowers ’08, Ph.D.
Current town: Normal, Illinois

Education: I majored in biology at Central, then went to Illinois State University to study in the behavior, ecology, evolution and systematics section of the School of Biological Sciences — and I’ve been there ever since. I received my master’s in 2011 and my Ph.D. in 2014.

About me: I grew up in Zearing, Iowa, and went to Colo-NESCO High School. To be perfectly honest, I chose Central simply to be around Matt Bowers ’07, my big brother and eternal best friend.

Hobbies/Activities: Conducting scientific research and writing research articles. My work is my hobby. However, my wife Kelly (my other best friend) and I also enjoy being outside, eating food and spending time with our two cats, Wrigley and Ruby.

Employment: I work in the School of Biological Sciences at Illinois State. My day-to-day activities include conducting research and writing papers, TA-ing undergraduate laboratories and occasionally giving lectures. Our research group studies the behavioral, evolutionary and physiological questions of nature, and our work has been featured in several popular science outlets, including “The Scientist,” and After finishing at Illinois State, I’ll take on a post-doctoral fellowship to continue our work here before seeking a permanent job as a biology professor (at an institution to be named later).

Memorable Central College moments: I know it does an injustice to all the other important moments (those involved know who they are), but I would be remiss if I did not discuss Central College football here. I was a freshman in Jeff McMartin’ s inaugural year as head coach, and I was fortunate to learn much from him over the years. My senior year, we faced St. John’s University in the second round of the NCAA playoffs. We had lost to them the previous year in an emotional, hard-fought playoff game. Before the game, Coach Mac spoke to us about the importance of perseverance and gave the example of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person known to have set foot on the summit of Mount Everest. Although previous expeditions involving Hillary had failed, Hillary persevered and eventually succeeded in his quest. We subsequently had our way with St. John’s that year, winning 37-7. Central memories like this hold a special place in our lives, but I think the lessons we learn in the process are even more important, and I apply them daily. I’m so grateful to have been a part of that group and be around Jeff McMartin for such a critical period of my life. Coach Mac is easily among the very best things that have happened to Central College in the past ten years, and I think about him almost every day.

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Student Spotlight

Grace Hirl ’15

Journey Scholarship student: Grace Hirl ’15

High school: Oskaloosa High School

Hometown: Oskaloosa, Iowa

Majors: Business Management and Spanish   

Where do you live: McKee Hall

Why I chose Central: I felt an unrivaled sense of warmth and connection at Central.

Abroad plans or experience:  I studied in Granada, Spain, in the spring of 2014.

What are your future goals? I would like to coordinate large-scale events for a company.

Favorite class:  I enjoyed my American Environmental Policy course with Jim Zaffiro because it gave me insight on sustainability issues today — and while it wasn’t within my major, I learned about how to implement sustainable business practices throughout my future endeavors.

Favorite professor: I have truly enjoyed Brian Peterson as a class dean and professor. He shows his students an unmatched level of respect, and he spends time getting to know us individually.

Hobbies/interests: I enjoy traveling, playing piano and spending time with friends and family.

Fun fact about yourself: I rode a camel in Morocco this January, and I did not fall off.

Internships: I served as a PR intern with a bipartisan PR and marketing firm, LS2 group, in Des Moines during summer 2014. I was a marketing intern at the Pella Opera House in fall 2013.

What activities do you participate in at Central?: I have been involved with Student Orientation Services, Student Senate, Career Leadership Board, Admission Ambassadors and Theatre Central.

Favorite food in Central Market: I can never pass up pumpkin bars at Central Market.

Best Central memory: I’ve enjoyed running in the Lemming Race with my pod mates. We made the best Mario Kart gang around!

Why I love my major: I love the flexibility and opportunities within the business arena, and I have been able to open even more doors with my Spanish skill set.

Why I love Central: I love the personal growth that happens here over four years. I will graduate with a strengthened notion of independence, a firm inter-disciplinary knowledge base and the ability to serve as an engaged, global citizen.

Career plans: I would like to begin within the marketing realm and eventually work towards event planning, possibly starting my own event planning business.

Message to donors: I would like to thank my donor for her generous support, as she made so many things possible for me throughout these past four years. I could not have flourished into the person I am today without this top-shelf education.

Staff Spotlight

Study Abroad

Staff Spotlight

Career Center
Central College Abroad
Conference Services
Fine arts
Online giving

Staff Spotlight

Kathy Cashen Thompson

Kathy Cashen Thompson
Director of Alumni Relations

Mary Benedict

Mary Benedict
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations

Lynne Petty

Lynne Petty
Administrative Assistant to the Director of Alumni Relations

812 University | Pella, Iowa 50219 | 1-800-447-0287|