Farewell and thank you to our 2022-23 retirees

Cindy Viertel will retire May 12, 2023. She came to Ripon in 1984 and was the hall director for Johnson Hall until the end of the 1987-88 academic year. She returned to Ripon in February 1991 and assumed the role of college counselor.

“In retirement, I’m looking forward to spending time with my dad, going on antiquing adventures, making a dent in my ‘Books to Be Read’ list and pursuing creative endeavors,” she says. “What I’ll miss most will certainly be those individuals who I’ve grown close to and look forward to interacting with each day.”

JOE HATCHER, 37 years

Joe Hatcher, professor of psychology, will retire at the end of the spring semester. He came to Ripon in 1986, “coming here from a fresh Ph.D. from Vanderbilt,” he says.

During his tenure in the Department of Psychology, he has served a chair of the department, the Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership, and the Ripon representative to the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. He also has served on several faculty committees, most frequently the Promotion and Tenure Committee, which he also has chaired.

In retirement, he says, “I plan to do some flight instructing, to continue my mental health work in nursing homes, and to begin working with Ketamine-Assisted-Psychotherapy (KAP) in the Ripon area. I’ll also travel around some to see family and friends.”

What he will miss most about working at Ripon are “my colleagues and my students, particularly the everyday give-and-take of the classroom, the office and the hallway. Being able to talk freely and at length about ideas that interest me and feeling the meaningfulness of being involved in the educational process.”

RON ERNST, 32 years

After 32 years serving in positions including head football coach, professor of exercise science and assistant athletic director, Ron Ernst retired Jan. 31, 2023. He began at Ripon in August 1991.

Ernst is serving as defensive coordinator of the German Football League’s Ingolstadt Dukes through this fall.

In retirement, after his current commitment ends, Ernst plans to spend as much time as possible and travel with his wife when she retires.

“I will miss the relationships that I have had with my players and students,” Ernst says.


Christina M. Sabel will retire from Ripon Sept. 1, 2023, as administrative assistant to the vice president for finance and assistant director of finance and personnel operations. She started at Ripon July 8, 1991.
In retirement, she plans to spend time with her grandson, Elijah, who turn 3 on Aug. 18; her granddaughter, Emilia Reid “Mia,” who is due on Aug. 15; her mother who is in a home; and her mother-in-law, whom she cares for.

She also plans to do a lot of camping, traveling, including trips to Washington state to see her daughter and son-in-law, and volunteering, including visiting people in assisted living facilities.

“I have a list a mile long of projects at home. I hope in the summer of 2024 I can have a weed-free garden and end up with lots of produce and do more canning. I also hoping I can learn to cook with the help of my husband who is a great cook. I want to make time to go for walks and work out at the Willmore Center and, of course, do yoga.”

Of what she will miss most about Ripon, she says: “This will sound crazy but I am a creature of habit and routine so I will miss the routine of going to work and seeing everyone each day. I will miss the work — I love what I do. I will miss the people, the students and the once-a-week trip over to Starbucks. I have had some great student workers throughout my years here. The students keep you young. I will miss helping people — that is what I am all about.”

KATY KUSSROW, 16 years

Katy Kussrow retired as assistant controller Jan. 6, 2023, after working at Ripon since 2007.

In retirement, she is spending time with her fiancé, Tom, and with her horses, and enjoying hobbies including yoga and reading.

She says she will most miss “the sense of contributing to the Ripon College mission, campus community and pride in seeing students succeed.”

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