Class Notes


If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.

 —John Irving, former student (1965-67)
 and instructor (1972-75) at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop


Alan Kotok (BA ’67), was named co-chair of the National Press Club Photography Team. Since 2016, he has organized the annual member’s photo exhibit displayed during the month of September in the National Press Club lobby in Washington, D.C.

Paul Stevens (BA ’68), worked as an Associated Press journalist, bureau chief, and regional vice president for 36 years. For the past six years, he has produced a daily newsletter called “Connecting” for more than 1,200 AP colleagues, university friends, and others in the news industry around the globe. Stevens also writes a monthly spotlight column for his hometown newspaper, The Messenger of Fort Dodge. “I find keeping mentally active important in retirement and involving my lifelong passion of journalism makes it all the better,” Stevens says.


Steve Holland (BA ’74) has enjoyed a stellar journalistic career covering the White House and U.S. politics for Reuters. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Scientific American, Time, the Chicago Tribune, and hundreds more.

Cathy Orrick Luders (BA ’74) served on The Gazette in Cedar Rapids for more than 30 years as content coordinator and obituaries. She has now retired from her longtime career at the paper.


Daniel Gonzalez (BA ’83) is a senior journalist who covers immigration at The Arizona Republic.  He was a lead reporter for the “Wall Project,” which won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism for The Arizona Republic and USA Today. 


Chris Gardner (BA ’99) is a staff writer and columnist covering entertainment for The Hollywood Reporter. In December, he won an award from the ALS Association Golden West Chapter for coverage of publicist Nanci Ryder’s battle with the disease. (Read more on p 18.)

Kerrie Klein (BA ’94) is the 2018 National Runaway Safeline Volunteer of the Year. The organization helps keep America’s runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. Klein was recognized for exceeding her commitment to assisting youth and their families across the country at a special event this past spring in Chicago.

Vanessa Shelton (MA ’94/PhD ’07) has been recognized by the Journalism Education Association with its Lifetime Achievement Award for significant contributions to scholastic journalism. She retired in July 2018, and was most recently an adjunct professor and executive director of Quill and Scroll International Honor Society for High School Journalists, based in the SJMC. 


Jarrett Hothan (BA ’09) has applied his degree to the field of music writing.  While at the UI, he wrote for The Daily Iowan’s Arts & Culture section, where he focused on music with album reviews and concert previews. He is now a script writer for Demo Duck, a video production company in Chicago. His band, The Trolls, has a debut album out, “Vs. The Shadow Pyramid.”

Gloria (Hurtado) Kennett (BA ’09) is a manager of Global Brand Communications for Hyatt hotels in Chicago. Previously, he served as a communications manager for Levy Restaurants, the food and beverage provider behind several national sports and entertainment venues as well as events like the Kentucky Derby, GRAMMY Awards, and the World Series.


Lauren Neale (BA ‘10), is the director of communications at Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Her responsibilities include overseeing the Cattle Business magazine, which is distributed to 7,500 members in Tennessee and the southeast.  She also is a features story writer for the magazine and manages all social media accounts, including the website content and design. She also focuses her energy around the publication’s design elements, such as the membership applications, convention banners, and photography at cattle events across the state.

Emily Maxwell‘00s Flashback

he freezing Alaskan air pierced Emily Maxwell’s skin as she and her team of dogs finished the last mile of a treacherous 1,000-mile race, a long-distance trek from Anchorage to Nome. Tears of joy rushed down her face as she crossed the finish line of her second Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race this past spring.

Maxwell (BA ’07) grew up in Iowa City where she earned UI degrees in Spanish, journalism, and literary translation. She always pursued adventure in her life and has run with the bulls, jumped out of a plane, and raced triathlons.

In 2013, Maxwell suffered severe oil burns in an accident during her work at an Iowa City restaurant. She endured second- and third-degree burns on 20 percent of her body, including her face and upper torso. A year later, she needed recuperation time away from Iowa City. She decided to take a trip with her brother to hike and camp in Alaska, and while there she met a longtime Iditarod veteran and his dogs.

Maxwell was captivated by the event, drawn to the wide-open spaces and beautiful landscapes that calmed her soul. She returned to Alaska several months later to take her first sled-dog ride. During this time, she gained valuable experience working with dogs and other volunteers on the trail.

By 2016, she was entering her own dog races. She entered Alaska’s Copper Basin 300, to some considered more difficult that the Iditarod. She placed 11th and improved in her next competition, the state’s Willow race. After that performance, she qualified for the Iditarod. Says Maxwell: “I would never say you embrace 50-below. You learn to deal.”

Last year, the Iditarod was won in a record eight days, three hours, 40 minutes, and three seconds. During her recent race, Maxwell and her team of dogs mushed through 1,000 miles of snow-covered trail to finish with a time of 11 days, 13 hours, 55 minutes, and 56 seconds. She came in 33rd place and described the race as “the best day ever.” 

crosswordPrize Winners

The Iowa Journalist congratulates Brett Roseman (BA ’01), Brian Siguenza (BA ’04), and Katharyn Bine (BA ’86) for winning a SJMC mug for their crossword submissions from the winter issue!

Lily Abromeit‘10s FLASHBACK

Lily Abromeit (BA ‘17) is the communications associate for the non-profit Zonta International in Chicago. She works with organizations like UNICEF and UN Women to support projects that benefit women and girls across the globe. Says Abromeit: “I get to combine my journalism skills with my passion for human rights and interest in international affairs—everything I studied at Iowa!”

Abromeit helps the team monitor social media and social engagement. She develops multimedia projects that shine a light on Zonta’s initiative’s and notable people and creates content for their magazine, The Zontian.

“One thing that is great about this job is I have the freedom to experiment with new ways of creating content through social media, video, and audio work,” says Abromeit.

Her goal with this job is to inspire people to become more involved with groups and organizations that foster better lives for all women.

Jean Daniels Puckett (BA ’45)
Marilyn J. Lindert (BA ’46)
Kay Knowles-Main (BA ’47)
M. Patricia Wolfe (BA ’48)
Dolores Henning (MA ’48)

Hazel Elaine Risinger (BA ’50)
Charles Edmund McLaughlin (BA ’52)
Victor Wayne Bryant (BA  ‘54)
Thomas Neil Keeton (MA ’59)

Jerome Theodore Fitzhenry (MA ’65)

David James Grant (MA ’75)
Paul John Farmer (BS ’78)
Carol Jeanne Hayden (BA ’77)
Barbara Leni Yost (BA ’73)

Jacqueline Sue Collins (BS ’89/MA ’92)
Stacey Diana Bredbeck (BA ’82)

Robert Allen Lucy (BA ’93)

Gregory C. Wallace (BA ’00)


Friends & Faculty

Gilbert Cranberg, longtime Des Moines Register journalist and  former SJMC George Gallup professor.

The Iowa Journalist congratulates Brett Roseman (BA ’01), Brian Siguenza (BA ’04), and Katharyn Bine (BA ’86) for winning a SJMC mug for their crossword submissions from the winter issue!