New Hire Biographies
Ripon College welcomes new staff and faculty members who have joined Ripon College during this calendar year. Select a section to read the bios:
- Steve Bellin-Oka is the new Wisconsin’s Own Library poet-in-residence. His first book of poems, Instructions for Seeing a Ghost, won the 2019 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. His three previous chapbooks include Tell Me Exactly What You Saw and What You Think It Means, winner of the Southern Collective Experience’s 2021 LGBQT chapbook contest. He received fellowships from Yaddo, Vermont Studio Center and Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the National Parks Arts Foundation. Most recently, he was a Tulsa Artist Fellow and Research Fellow at the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities. He earned his M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers.
- Lillian Brown is a visiting professor of theater. Previously, she was a graduate teaching associate at Ohio State University. She also worked at Cleveland Public Theatre as an educator in its CMHA CAN program which inspired art in underserved communities. Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, she received a bachelor’s degree in theatre (acting) from the University of Northern Colorado and an MFA in theatre (creation of new work) from Ohio State University. She is an actor, director and solo performing artist and currently is expanding her solo show “The OREO Complex,” inspired by WEB DuBois’ concept of Double Consciousness.
- Paul Thompson is a new assistant professor of music. He most recently served as assistant professor and director of choral activities at the University of Idaho, director of music at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse and artistic director and conductor of the Palouse Choral Society. He also has taught at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and UW-Manitowoc. He holds a doctorate in choral conducting and literature from Colorado University-Boulder, a master’s in choral conducting from UW-Milwaukee and a bachelor’s in voice from Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
- Jeremiah Vaughan is an assistant professor of exercise science. He served as an assistant professor of exercise science at Bemidji State University in Minnesota from 2018-2021. He received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 2012 and a master’s degree in physical education-exercise science in 2015, both from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Kent State University in Ohio in 2018. He grew up in Franklin County, Indiana, the eighth of nine children, including four brothers and four sisters. His parents are retired and travel around the nation spending time with each of their children and their families.
- Christopher Cramer is an adjunct instructor of music and will conduct guitar lessons. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has performed in the United States, Canada, and Asia. He is on the faculty at Beloit College and at St. Norbert College where he founded and heads the guitar program. He also is the director of guitar instruction at the Madison Academy of Music in Madison. He completed his undergraduate training at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. He earned both his master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in music performance from UW-Madison.
- Paul Dietrich will direct the Ripon College Jazz Ensemble. As a composer, trumpet player and educator, he has led the Paul Dietrich Quintet since 2012 and the Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble since 2016. The Chicago-based quintet has released two albums. As a composer, he has completed more than a dozen commissions for schools and organizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in trumpet and jazz studies from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and a master’s degree in jazz studies from DePaul University in Chicago. His wife, Jessica Jensen, is an adjunct instructor of music at Ripon, teaching applied brass and brass techniques.
- Chuong H. Ma is an adjunct instructor of economics and business management. He grew up in South Vietnam and at age 24 moved to the United States with the rest of his family. He is the first in his family to pursue a Ph.D. He worked for the U.S. Census Bureau from 2009 to 2010 as an enumerator and assistant team leader in Orange County, California. He then studied for a master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has been a lecturer there for almost a decade. He enjoys swimming, basketball and reading.
- The Very Rev. C. Patrick Perkins will direct the Ripon College Orchestra. He is dean of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He previously was artistic director of the Capital Baroque in Jackson, Mississippi, and has served as coach, collaborative pianist and conductor in musical theatre, opera and oratorio. He holds degrees from Wood College and Mississippi College, and a master of music in orchestral conducting and literature from Louisiana State University, where he worked with the orchestras and opera. He also studied at Beeson Divinity School, Reformed Theological Seminary and Nashotah House in Wisconsin, where he completed the master of divinity degree.
- Merranda Schmid ’18 is an adjunct instructor of chemistry. At Ripon, she majored in chemistry with a minor in biology. This year, she graduated from Colorado State University with a master’s degree in chemistry with a concentration in material science. For two years at Colorado State, she was a chemistry teaching assistant there working with both chemistry and non-chemistry majors. She now is a laboratory technician with STgenetics. She is from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She is the first in her family to receive a graduate-level degree and she has a Mexican heritage on her mother’s side.
- Molly Spaulding will be an adjunct instructor of exercise science.
- Ann Stephan, adjunct instructor of music, violin and viola lessons, upper strings sectional leader for the Ripon College Orchestra. She received her bachelor of music performance degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and her master of music performance degree from Illinois State University. She has been teaching private lessons for more than 20 years. She also performs with several ensembles, including the Fox Valley Symphony, Manitowoc Symphony and Bel Canto Chorus Orchestra. She was formerly the principal violist of the Sheboygan Symphony and has played in the Peoria Symphony, Illinois Opera Orchestra, Illinois Symphony and Green Bay Symphony, among others.
- Juliane Troicki is an adjunct professor of politics and government. She is a native of Berlin, Germany, and has lived in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, for the last eight years. She is a long-term community activist and volunteer. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from Temple University in Philadelphia and lectures at area universities such as the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, UW-Fond du Lac and Marian University. She is the founder of the Illuminating Women Project, a community-based art project featuring inspiring local women in Wisconsin communities. Through this, she explores women’s experiences and their role in the world. Troicki has four children.
- Christopher T. Wood is an adjunct professor of digital art. He grew up in Pittsburgh, then lived in Chicago and Philadelphia before moving to Milwaukee in 2019. He has taught at UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts and the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he also is teaching this fall. He is chair of Design for Good on the Board of AIGA Wisconsin. He has operated an independent art studio since 2005. He received his bachelor of fine arts in visual communication design with a concentration in Illustration from the University of Dayton and his master of fine arts in painting from Northern Illinois University.
- Stephanie Boahen ’21, a native of Accra, Ghana, is a post-graduate assistant for Admission and Student Life. She graduated from Ripon College in May with a major in chemistry-biology and a minor in Francophone studies. She is working with the Office of Admission, the Office of Residence Life and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
- Katy Crane has returned to Ripon College as the assistant registrar. From 2015-2020, she was assistant director in Student Support Services and visit coordinator in the Office of Admission. Most recently, she worked in the business office of the Berlin Area School District. She has a bachelor of science degree in sociology from Northwest Missouri State University and completed coursework in the master of science in educational leadership and policy analysis program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Ripon, she participated in the orchestra as a flutist and Symphonic Wind Ensemble as a French horn player, and was involved with Ripon Summer Players.
- Carolyn Crist of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is the new visitor experience coordinator/admission counselor at Ripon College. She previously was a special education teacher in Arizona and Dasman Bilingual School in Kuwait, and most recently was a learning support teacher at the International School of Luxembourg. She received a bachelor’s degree in special education from Ball State University and a master’s degree in child’s rights, development and protection from King’s College, London.
- Mamadou Diallo is the assistant residence hall director. He is originally from Los Angeles, California, and previously was a special education aide at Ripon High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies in sports and exercise psychology, coaching and public relations from West Virginia University. His mother, Djenabou Bah, was born and raised in Guinea, Conakry, a country on the west coast of Africa. He has an older sister named Fatima Diallo.
- Abel Gonzalez Rodriguez ’20 is a technology support specialist/programmer. At Ripon, he majored in mathematics with a focus on computer science and minored in Spanish. For three years as a student, he worked as a student assistant in the Office of Information Technology. He is originally from Cuba.
- Jorge Gutierrez ’17 is the academic support specialist for C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts. He is a 2017 graduate of Ripon College where he majored in psychology with a minor in studio art. He previously was marketing manager for the Green Lake Renewal and Town Square Community Center. Currently, in addition to Ripon, he works as a paint specialist at Ripon Ace Hardware. He is originally from Tepatitlan, Jalisco, Mexico, and Los Angeles, California.
- Mary Hatlan is the new director of the Center for Career and Professional Development. She has more than 20 years of higher education experience in career development, traditional/adult/master’s advising, adult studies administration and student life. She also has taught. She holds a master of science in organizational leadership and is certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator, Career Services Provider, Strong Interest Inventory Facilitator, MBTI Facilitator and EQ-I Facilitator. She is president for the Wisconsin Independent College Career Consortium for which she also has served as president-elect and professional development chair. Her husband, Randy Hatlan, is principal at Ripon High School. They have two sons, Nate and Nick.
- Luke Leitner began June 1 as a financial aid counselor. He served for the last eight years as coordinator for leadership programs in the Student Life Office at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin, and previously was a financial aid counselor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UW-Oshkosh and a master’s of education in student affairs administration in higher education from UW-La Crosse. His prior ties to Ripon include attending Badger Boys State and holding his wedding at the College with his wife, Julie Waldvogel-Leitner ’02. He is originally from Oxford, Wisconsin.
- Rachel Leonard is the new assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for track and field. She previously was assistant track and field coach and recruiting coordinator at her alma mater, Colby College, in Waterville, Maine, for the past two years. At Colby, she majored in Latin American studies and was a three-time Division-III National qualifier as a student-athlete, while also holding the school record in the 500 meters. She received a master’s degree in education from Thomas College in May 2021. She also holds USTFCCCA certification in strength and conditioning and meet management. She is originally from New Hampshire.
- Cole Markee joined Ripon College July 6 as director of student accounts. He previously was director of business and finance for a school district in southeast Wisconsin and chief operating officer and partner of a Network Consulting and Managed Services firm. Originally from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, he graduated from Western Wisconsin Technical College and attended Viterbo University, both in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Sara, have now relocated permanently to their home in Green Lake.
- Marco Ordonez is a new admission counselor. He will work with students primarily in Illinois and states west of the Dakotas and south of Kansas and Missouri. He previously was a STEM educator in science, math and engineering at St. Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago. Prior to that, he taught science and math and coached boys’ varsity soccer at Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Montebello, California. He studied biochemistry at Loyola University Chicago where he conducted undergraduate research on the neuro-biological circuitry behind drug addiction. He received a master’s degree in education from the University of Notre Dame.
- Paula Stettbacher joined Ripon College March 11 as the new director of human resources. She previously was the director of talent management/Title IX coordinator at Moraine Park Technical College. She brings HR experience in the consulting engineering, healthcare and higher education industries. Stettbacher has a bachelor of business administration degree with an emphasis in human resources. She is certified as both a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). She most recently became a Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrator to help organizations and employees increase their intercultural competence to better achieve an inclusive working and learning environment.
- Alex Harty is the assistant coach of volleyball. He is originally from Racine, Wisconsin, and has lived in Oshkosh since 2013. Most recently, he coached for Impact Volleyball club and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Men’s collegiate club program. He graduated from UW-Oshkosh in 2018 with a bachelor of science in nursing and is a registered nurse. His parents, Steve and Lisa, live in Racine, and he has two sisters.
- David Scott, associate professor of mathematical sciences, is now also an assistant soccer coach.
- Peter Sensenbrenner, formerly adjunct instructor of business management, is now instructor of business management.
- Jack M. Christ, professor emeritus of economics and business management, is returning as an adjunct professor of economics and business management, fall semester.
- Martin Farrell, professor emeritus of politics and government, is returning as an adjunct professor of politics and government.
Sage Food Service
- JD Gildemeister, general manager, SAGE Dining Services.
- Beth Pierce, catering manager, SAGE Dining Services.
- Brandon Lobianco, maintenance.
- Laurie “Louie” Yansick, housekeeper.