Class Notes, Fall 2011

Several mini profiles followed by class notes listings.

Darlene Larson 1991

Darlene Larson 1991

Darlene Larson PT ’91 resides in Florida where she practices physical therapy at Smith Skilled Nursing Facility, the in-patient center at a local hospital and patients’ homes. She has not been on campus since graduating, but plans on returning this fall for Reunion.

Marji Burniston 2001

Marji Burniston 2001

Major Marji Burniston ’98, O.T. ’01, currently stationed in Las Vegas, returned to service in the U.S. Army as an occupational therapist in January 2006 after graduating from Pacific’s School of Occupational Therapy in 2001. In 2011, she was promoted to Major and received the Iron Major Award, which recognizes the top 10 percent of the Army Medical Specialist Corps for exceptional contributions and displayed leadership. Before moving to Afghanistan next summer, she will attend Reunion this fall.

Rodney Helm ’69, O.D. 1971

Rodney Helm ’69, O.D. 1971

Rodney Helm 69, O.D. 71 lives with his wife, Vickie ’71, in Park Rapids, Minn., where he practices optometry in his clinic with Murray Westberg O.D. ’05 and Jenni Keller O.D. ’11. Helm started biking in Forest Grove while attending Pacific and biked 64 miles on his birthday in the summer of 2011, continuing his annual tradition of biking his new age on every birthday.

General Comments

Bill Blevins

Bill Blevins is the new head boys’ basketball coach for Sherman High School in Wasco County, Ore. 

Sande Brown MAT

Sande Brown MAT is principal at Seaside Heights Elementary School in Seaside, Ore. She previously was principal at Gearhart and Cannon Beach elementary schools, both of which are also in the Seaside School District. Two of her sons, Gavin Brown ’14 and Garrett Brown ’17, are current students at Pacific University.   

Brett Freese OD

Brett Freese OD and his optometric practice, Eyes On Main, in Sauk Centre, Minn., were featured in a story in the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times, noting how Freese and his wife, Kelley, have worked to make their business relative to the history of the town, which was home to Sinclair Lewis, the first American to receive a Nobel Prize for literature. 

Kelley Mathis

Kelley Mathis is the assistant manager for the west region of the National Federation of Independent Business, a national small-business advocacy association in Nashville, Tenn.

Aaron Fentress

Aaron Fentress, a sports reporter for The Oregonian for the last 22 years, is now a reporter for Comcast SportsNet on cable TV. He is a panelist for the studio show Talkin’ Ducks and also reports for Comcast’s website. Read more of his story.

Barbara Briscoe OD

Barbara Briscoe OD is working to help place nurses in Rwanda’s schools after she and her family traveled to the African country last summer on a two-week medical mission trip. She shared her experiences at a presentation in West Linn and is fundraising to place nurses in five schools. 

Molly (Callanan) Widdicombe

Molly (Callanan) Widdicombe is the associate director of annual giving at University of the Redlands in Southern California.