Alumni News


In the spring of 2017, Sr. Virginia Pellowski ‘56, celebrated her 60th anniversary as a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul. Congratulations, Sr. Virginia!



Dr. Damien Fair ’94 has created the Fair Neuroimaging Lab at Oregon Health & Science University. The lab uses MRI to examine typical and atypical brain development. The research examines children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as, children and adults with ADHD. You can watch a short video about it on YouTube. 

Christina Uribe Nitti ‘94 accepted a position as Director of Health Services for St. Mary’s University in 2017. Christina is excited to continue her work as a nurse practitioner while coordinating wellness programs for the college students at a Catholic university. Congratulations on the new role, Christina!

Amy (Zehren ’95) and Brad McNally were married on November 25, 2017 at the Chapel of the Angels. In attendance were several Cotter alums including Mary Eileen (Costello ’95) Fitch, Sara (Slaggie ’95) Poulos, Cathy (Rukavina ’95) Antonio, Jared Kuehl ’95, Mike Arnold ’95, Travis Cook ’95, Tim Beier ’95, and Andy Baechler ’95. Congrats, Amy and Brad!

Several alums gathered for the Schumacher wedding including brothers, Nick ‘96 and Eric ‘00 Schumacher, Mat O’Brien ‘96, Drew ’97, Will ’96, Jeff Wilzbacher ’96, Jack Leaf ’98, and Megan Jardina Anderson ’97.

Anthony Piscitiello ‘96 has been working with Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan as a Campaign Manager for the Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal for the Archdiocese of New York. Anthony helps raise over $20 million per year for various offices and ministries that support that nearly 300 parishes across the archdiocese. He also helps parishes increase their offertory collections by 20% each year.

Katie (Beyers ’96) Christopherson purchased Brown’s Creative Picture Framing in July, 2017. Katie is operating her insurance agency, Atlas Insurance, inside the same building and continues to operate the framing business.

Lisa (Karlson ’96) Anderson is teaching Web Design courses and supervising independent study students interested in pursuing more advanced web design/development at Augsburg College.

Jeff Blahnik, '96, was named Associate Provost for Strategic Enrollment Planning at the University of Oklahoma. He also serves as Executive Director of Admissions and Recruitment. Jeff and his wife, Ruthy, live in Norman, OK, with their three children: Molly (6), Charlie (3), and Maeve (1).

Sarah Speltz ‘97 is teaching at the 7th annual Zumba on the Esplanade event in Boston during the summer of 2017. The event is co-hosted by Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women where Sarah teaches fitness classes, besides her full time job as the Associate Director of Alumni Programs at Boston University. Sarah teaches Zumba and Bootcamp to 200-400 participants at various parks throughout Boston all summer.

Angela (Broadwater ’98) and Steve Norton welcomed daughter, Caroline, on 2/12/17. Big sister, Marie, was eagerly awaiting her baby sister’s arrival.

Lt. Jacob Keuhl '99 was promoted to rank of Lieutenant in the US Navy in 2017. Jake returned to Cotter for a Veteran’s Day presentation in the fall. Congratulations and thank you for your service, Lt. Kuehl!

Michael Ratajczyk '99 was accepted onto the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council. Recently, he was accepted at fellow by Wiley Education Services to in the field of artificial intelligence. You can read more about that in the Winona Daily News. He is also the M.S. Program Director and Assistant Professor of Business in the Business Intelligence and Analytics program at St. Mary's University. In addition, he is leading a group of college students to China to learn more about international economics and finance. This is the inaugural trip from SMU.


Mark '00 and Ericha Gudmastad welcomed Ingrid Linda on April 20, 2017 in Seattle, WA. Proud grandparents are the unforgettable band director, Dave (Mr. G) Gudmastad, and the beloved WACS teacher, Linda Gudmastad.

Sara (Strauss ‘01) and Brian Thomas ‘01 welcomed their second child, Vivian, on September 14, 2016. She joins big brother, Connor Robert, who is 2. Congratulations to the Strauss and Thomas families!

Elijah Lisowski was born in February to Aaron ’01 and Larraina Lisowski. He is the grandson of Randy ’69 and Deb Lisowski. Elijah has big brother, John-Paul, at home to keep him busy!

Emily Beyer ’01 has been working as the Team Physical Therapist for the Minnesota Lynx professional women’s basketball team for the last six seasons. She also works at Mayo Clinic Square in sports medicine. The Lynx have won the WNBA championship 4 times since 2011 most recently in 2017 with Emily behind their bench.

Alice Crozier ’01 and her husband, Daniel Degnan, welcomed twins, Finn and Lars in 2017. Proud grandpa is former Cotter teacher, Bill Crozier.

Dr. Stephanie Thorson-Olesen ‘02, a psychology professor at Viterbo University, was invited to participate in a policy discussion on mental health at the UN Headquarters in New York City in the spring of 2017. Keep up the great work, Dr. Thorson-Olesen!

Levi Joseph Schneider was born on April 17, 2017 at 11:59pm. Excited parents, Jessica (Weisbrod ’04) and her husband, Jason, took Levi home Easter Sunday to meet his extended family.

Jennifer (Arnold '03) and her husband, Josh Rutz, welcomed Henry (Hank) Sylvester on February 11, 2018. Hank joins big sisters Charlotte (5) and Evelyn (2). Welcome to the Cotter Family, Hank!

Sarah Johnson ’04 has applied for residency as an OB/Gyn specialist. Sarah is currently living in Chicago.

Arran Davis ‘07 graduated with honors from the University of Oxford with his MSc. He is currently pursuing his doctorate at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology while participating in the javelin throw for Oxford. 

Dr. Brittany Duellman ‘09 graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in May, 2017 with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Congrats, Dr. Duellman!

Dr. Kaitlin Marg ’09 graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota. Congratulating her are Chuck Marg ’07 and Maddi Marg ’12. Congrats, Dr. Marg!


Mary Horton ’10 was accepted to the Doctorate of Philosophy program at UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 2017. Congratulations, Mary!

Joana Beyer '13, graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of St. Thomas in May of 2017. Jo is working at a L'Arche Community in Rome for the summer, and will then be headed to WA to work on a sustainable farm through Americorps. Congrats on your graduation and keep up the great work, Jo!

Matt Schrupp ’14 and Kenny Kirkvold ’13 competed in the indoor track meet at UW-Stout the last weekend of January, 2017. Matt runs long distance for UW- Eau Claire and Kenny is a thrower for UMD where he also plays football.

Li-Wei Tseng ‘13 graduated from UCLA in the spring of 2017 and was offered a position at Microsoft HQ as a software engineer.

Cotter grads - and current St. John's University/College of St. Benedict students - Hudson Echelard '14, Logan Spitzer '16, Hannah Kosel '14, Jane Koll '17, Leah Koll '15, Hunter Andre '16, Tim DeMarais '16, SunAh Shim '16, Marisa Brosig '14, Connor Hagarty '17, and Michaela Peplinski '14  have stayed in touch with each other at college and gathered for an all-Cotter holiday meal.

Ryan Ortega ’17 is attending Luther College in Decorah, IA. He is part of the Norseman Choir and tennis team.  

David, Jacob, and Noah French ’17 performed with the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Jazz ensemble.