News

1961

Donald F. Kish, BA, Katy, Texas, recently celebrated his 25th anniversary as a deacon. He continues to serve as a deacon at his home parish of Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Community in Katy.

1968

Daniel D. Houlihan, BA, Six Mile, South Carolina, recently returned from a six-month vacation to Italy with his wife and their Labrador Retriever, Jack Daniels, and published a book about their adventures. The book, titled Jack Daniels’ Great Italian Adventure, is available on Amazon, and details the wild ride of traveling with a pet in Italy. The book portrays the beauty and wonder of smaller Italian hilltop towns, recommends food and wine and tourist activities, describes the maddening task of dealing with the Italian bureaucracy, and shares the triumph of filling in missing ancestry holes with the help of a kindhearted Italian. Houlihan is a retired Army officer, a former CIO for the state of Indiana, and served as CEO of two subsidiaries of the information technology company NIC, Inc.

1973

John B. Atkins, JD, Omaha, was a co-recipient of the Nebraska State Bar Association’s 2019 George H. Turner Award. The award is presented to a member of the bar association who has demonstrated unusual efforts in furthering the public understanding of the legal system, the administration of justice and confidence of the legal profession. Atkins is vice president and senior trust officer at Union Bank & Trust Company in Omaha.

David G. Sabott, DDS, Erie, Colorado, was installed as the 2019-2020 secretary/treasurer of the American Board of Orthodontics in May 2019. Sabott practices orthodontics in Brighton, Colorado, and is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Society of Orthodontists, the Angle Southwest Component of the Edward H. Angle Society, the Colorado State Orthodontic Society and the Boulder County Dental Society.

1976

Daniel E. Monnat, JD, Wichita, Kansas, of Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered, is again listed in the Best Lawyers in America 2020 Edition list in four practice areas: criminal defense-general practice; criminal defense-white collar; bet-the-company litigation; and appellate practice. Monnat also was named to the Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defense 2019, and earlier this year, was named as a leading attorney on the Who’s Who Legal: Government Investigations list.

Jean Dickes Phelan, BSN, Omaha, an associate professor of nursing at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska, received the Helping Hands Award in May 2019 for her work as the faculty advisor for the Student Nursing Association at Midland.

1977

Patrick K. Costello, JD, Lakefield, Minnesota, was the recipient of the 2019 Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is presented to an experienced member of the state bar who has continually displayed commitment and contributions to the bar, the legal profession and the public throughout his or her career. In addition to his many contributions to the MSBA, Costello was cited for his national recognition in agricultural law and estate tax matters.

Mary Kay Green, BA’65, JD, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, wrote the screenplay Courageous Crystal Chambers, A New Rosa Parks. The screenplay is based on the 2007 book she wrote, Women of Courage: The Rights of Single Mothers and Their Children, Inspired by Crystal Chambers, A New Rosa Parks, about Green’s federal lawsuit Crystal Chambers v. Omaha Girls Club.

James L. Vacek, BSMth’73, MD, Olathe, Kansas, is the recipient of the Kansas City Medical Society’s Exemplary Leadership Award for 2019. Vacek is professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Kansas Medical School and Health Care System. He has been a fellow of the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Medicine and the American College of Chest Physicians. Vacek previously received the Educator of the Year Award from the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Kansas and was the 2017 James Sullivan Visiting Professor at the Creighton University School of Medicine. He has co-authored more than 200 published papers and more than 200 abstracts.

1980

Randy K. Newby, DDS, Wichita, Kansas, was elected president elect of the American Orthodontic Society (AOS) by its members at the annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in September 2019. Newby’s table clinic titled “Beware of the Dreaded Triangle When Treating Orthodontic Cases” was chosen by the AOS members as the best table clinic presented at the meeting.

1982

H. Douglas Knust, BSBA, Chamberlain, South Dakota, was named 2019 South Dakota Franchised Dealer of the Year by the South Dakota Automobile Dealers Association. Knust has a Chevrolet-Buick dealership in Chamberlain and a Ford-Lincoln dealership in Winner, South Dakota.

1983

Stephen A. Donato, JD, Fayetteville, New York, was recognized as a super lawyer in the 2019 Upstate New York Super Lawyers in the bankruptcy-business practice area. In addition, he was selected for inclusion in 2020 Best Lawyers in America in the field of bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law and litigation-bankruptcy. Donato is an attorney in the Syracuse, New York, office of Bond, Schoeneck & King.

Dr. Sheila McGuire Riggs, ARTS, St. Paul, Minnesota, serves as the chair of the board of directors of the Hennepin Healthcare System in Minneapolis. Riggs is chair of the Department of Primary Dental Care at the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry.

Brian G. Yonish, BA’80, JD, Clifton, Virginia, recently retired as acting general counsel, U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General. Yonish served for nearly 38 years as a Navy judge advocate and civilian attorney in the Department of Defense.

1985

David J. Ceci, BA, Staten Island, New York, completed the book and lyrics for his first full-length musical, Fur Pajamas (music by John Allman), which was then selected by the Seattle Playwrights Salon for its monthly public reading series. This first public reading of Fur Pajamas took place in July 2019 at the Palace Theater & Art Bar in Seattle. After 22 years in banking, Ceci retired from Northfield Bank in 2018 to focus on his writing. He has studied at the Dramatists Guild Institute, the New York Musicals Festival (NYMF) and Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA). His work has been performed in New York City at the Green Room 42 as part of the NYMF; Jimmy’s No. 43 through ESPA’s “Detention” series; and with The PlayGround Experiment during its “Drop & Give Me 10” series. Ceci is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Playwrights’ Center, Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU), and the Committee on Theater and Performing Arts of the New York State Bar Association.

1987

Jennifer Enright-Ford, BSN, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, was awarded the Key Recognition Award by West Bend Mutual for an exoskeleton project with a spinal cord injury patient. The award came with a charitable contribution, which was presented to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Enright-Ford chose the foundation in honor of the patients she worked with at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the 1980s who deeply impacted her nursing career.

1988

Martin A. Cannon, BS’85, JD, Crescent, Iowa, has been leading legal efforts in the pro-life community. Cannon, along with Michael J. Seibel, BSBA’91, JD’95, has served on the legal panel for the National Sidewalk Advocates for Life. Cannon and Seibel recently spoke at the Pro Life Women’s Conference in New Orleans. The two also spoke at the National Sidewalk Advocates Conference in Dallas with many pro-life leaders including David Bereit and Abby Johnson.

1993

Gerard T. Forgét III, BSChm’90, MBA, JD, Omaha, has been elected as a shareholder at Gross & Welch law firm in Omaha. Forgét’s practice has been primarily focused on estate planning and probate, corporate and business law, tax law, and trust preparation and administration.

1995

Robyn Allyn Heiser, BSN, O’Neill, Nebraska, was promoted to assistant professor at Clarkson College in Omaha, where she teaches in the graduate nursing program.

Michael J. Seibel, BSBA’91, JD, Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been leading legal efforts in the pro-life community. Seibel, along with Martin A. Cannon, BS’85, JD’88, has served on the legal panel for the National Sidewalk Advocates for Life. Seibel and Cannon recently spoke at the Pro Life Women’s Conference in New Orleans. The two also spoke at the National Sidewalk Advocates Conference in Dallas with many pro-life leaders including David Bereit and Abby Johnson.

1998

Tricia O’Hare Jedele, JD, Coventry, Rhode Island, was named chief of the environmental advocacy unit for the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General. Jedele served as a special assistant attorney general from 1999 through 2009 before becoming the advocacy director for Conservation Law Foundation’s Rhode Island office. She returned to the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office in April 2019.

2002

Jess W. Hoeme, JD, 
Cheney, Kansas, was honored by 2020 Best Lawyers in America in the area of criminal defense-general practice and DUI/DWI defense. Hoeme is an attorney at Joseph, Hollander & Craft in the firm’s Wichita, Kansas, office. His practice is focused in criminal litigation across the state of Kansas and he represents Kansas law enforcement officers and agencies in matters of professional affairs and investigations.

2005

Elizabeth J. McGee, DDS, Las Vegas, was named president of the Nevada Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. McGee is a board-certified fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and has been practicing for more than 10 years at Pediatric Dental Care Associates at Aliante in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Kieth T. McGovern, BSBA, Kansas City, Missouri, was promoted to partner at BKD CPAs & Advisors in Kansas City.

2006

Kate DeCleene Huber, OTD, Indianapolis, was appointed associate dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Indianapolis in October 2019.

2007

John F. Ferraro, BS’86, MA, Aurora, Colorado, was ordained a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Denver by Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodriguez in June 2019. Ferraro is a pastoral assistant and theology teacher at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora.

2008

Joanna M. Gonzales, BA, Brookeville, Maryland, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander in September 2019. Gonzalez is stationed in Busan, South Korea, working as the Navy’s force judge advocate for Rear Admiral Michael Donnelly’s staff.

2009

Dr. Joshua T. Steere, BS, Newtown, Pennsylvania, joined Bucks County Orthopedic Specialists in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, in September 2019. Steere is an orthopedic surgeon who performs joint replacements and treats a wide variety of hip and knee problems including adult hip dysplasia, osteonecrosis, inflammatory arthritis, infection and fractures.

2011

Ryan K. Bratcher, JD, Kansas City, Missouri, has joined the law firm of Cordell & Cordell in the Independence, Missouri, office as a litigation attorney.

Liam A. Dawson, BS, St. James, Minnesota, is principal at Northside Elementary School in St. James.

Kassandra E. Montag, MA, Omaha, is the author of the novel After the Flood, which was released in September 2019 by publisher William Morrow. The book explores a global narrative of a changed natural environment alongside an intensely personal story of one mother fighting to protect her two daughters. The book will be published in more than 12 international territories, and Chernin Entertainment has optioned the novel for television. Montag is an award-winning poet, and After the Flood is her first novel.

2012

Maggie T. Rudersdorf, BSN, Denver, is the associate clinical manager for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver.

2017

Quinn R. Eaton, JD, Omaha, was named a 2019 Great Plains Super Lawyers Rising Star in employment litigation-defense. Eaton is an attorney at Husch Blackwell in Omaha.