Class notes

Cookies from the IMU Sugar and Spice shop with white icing decorated with red IU logo.
Cookies from the IMU Sugar and Spice shop. Photo by Indiana University

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In the meantime, check out what your fellow alums have been doing.


James P. Comer, BA ’56 Zoology, DSc’91 Honorary, gave a Frontiers of Science Lecture on innovations in children’s mental health at the 2019 APA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The theme of the event was “Revitalize Psychiatry: Disrupt, Include, Engage, and Innovate.” At the meeting, Comer received an award recognizing him and the black psychiatrists who disrupted a 1969 meeting of the APA board to bring attention to the mental health concerns of African Americans. Their same push for social justice led to the creation of a black caucus within the APA and, eventually, the Black Psychiatrists of America. Comer, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University, lives in North Haven, CT.


The 2019 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, given for a major advance that improves the lives of many thousands of people, recognizes Shepard's role in the development of the drug Herceptin (trastuzumab). Herceptin is used to treat patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, an especially aggressive form of the disease. Herceptin attacks tumor cells and slows down their duplication. It has also been successful in treating some ovarian and gastric cancer patients.

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Richard J. Steffy, BS ’89 Microbiology, BS ’90 Medical Technology, earned a master’s degree in health administration from Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s University in 2017. The following year, he retired from Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE, after 26 years of service. Steffy is a medical laboratory scientist with the Christiana Care Health System in Middletown, DE. He has three children who are employed in the following areas: critical care nursing, art restoration/maintenance, and carpenter’s apprentice.


Shortly after graduating from the IU School of Optometry, Miranda Murray Cannon, OD ’10, and her husband, Mark J. Cannon, BA ’97 Biology and Psychology, OD ’10, moved to Seattle. Miranda began practicing at the McChord Air Force Base’s optometry center. Mark Cannon worked at a number of practices until he opened Cannon EyeCare in Seattle in 2015, with his wife. In 2017, Miranda took over as owner of McChord Optometry at the McChord Air Force Base. The Cannons live in Seattle and have two daughters.

Viva (Combs) Thorsen, BS ’94 Biology, BA ’95 Spanish, MPH ’97, earned her MPhil in 2006 from the University of Oslo (UiO) in International Community Health as well as her PhD (2013) in Maternal Health there. She did a postdoctoral fellowship at the UiO’s Institute of Health & Society. Thorsen is now an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working in the Division of Global HIV & TB within the Maternal and Child Health Branch. As a member of the Pediatric and Adolescent HIV Team, she serves as the Unit Lead for the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Unit. She is married and has two children.

David M. Umpleby, BA ’95 Biology and Chemistry, JD ’98, joined the Indianapolis office of law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister as a partner. With significant experience in structured financings, Umpleby represents clients in transactions involving public/private financing of both real estate developments and operating businesses. He focuses his practice on structured financings involving the use of tax incentives including new markets tax credits, low income housing tax credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits, opportunity zones, and state tax credits.


Megan (Kingsolver) Borror, BS ’08 Biology, PhD ’14 Microbiology, did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Barshop Institute for Longevity & Aging Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center from 2014-2017. There she studied mitochondrial dysfunction and aging in the laboratory of Dr. Shane Rea. Borror is now an assistant professor of biology at Our Lady of the Lake University. She and her husband, Kenneth A. Borror, reside in San Antonio, TX.

In April, Kyle W. King, BS ’07 Biology, OD ’11, received the 2019 Indiana Optometric Association’s Young Optometrist of the Year Award at the IOA Awards Banquet in French Lick, IN. The award, which is bestowed on those who have been licensed for 10 years or less, is granted to an IOA member who has made a positive impact on the profession and served community health at large. King, a resident of Evansville, IN, is a partner and optometrist at Evansville Eyecare Associates.

Former Wells Scholar Brianne E. Kirkpatrick, BA ’03 Biology, Religious Studies, coauthored a recent book with Shannon D. Combs-Bennett, BS ’99 Biology, called The DNA Guide for Adoptees.” A certified and licensed genetic counselor, Kirkpatrick is the founder of Watershed DNA, which provides DNA consultations for ancestry and health. For more information about the company, visit Kirkpatrick lives in Crozet, VA, with her husband and three children.

Stephanie (Farnsworth) Klemencic, BS ’01 Biology, OD ’05, is a member of the comprehensive and urgent optometric services at the Blue Ash, OH, location of the Cincinnati Eye Institute. She treats and manages eye diseases—such as cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma, diabetes, and macular degeneration—and emergency eye care problems. For more than a decade, Klemencic served as an associate professor and coordinator of the Primary Eye Care and Ocular Disease Residency Program where she taught ocular disease care to optometry students and residents at the Illinois College of Optometry/Illinois Eye Institute in Chicago. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a Diplomate in the Academy’s Comprehensive Eye Care Section. In addition to her clinical duties, Klemencic volunteers her time as a consultant for the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education. She is actively engaged in clinical and scientific research, authoring many publications on ocular disease topics, and regularly lectures at national optometric meetings on a variety of ocular disease and pharmaceutical topics.

Elizabeth (Roush) Lichlyter, BS ’06 Biology, OD ’10, and her husband, Craig M. Lichlyter, BS ’08, OD’10, are both associates at Drs. Roush & Will Optometrists. The practice has three Indiana locations—Kendallville, Albion, and Ligonier. Elizabeth joined the practice in May 2010 and works in all three locations, as well as working as a medical optometrist at the Grossnickle Eye Center in northern Indiana. She lives in Kendallville.

After practicing optometry in Vincennes, IN, for seven years, Jericho (Halter) Quick, BS ’03 Biology, OD ’10, owns and operates her own practice, Quick Vision, providing comprehensive eye examinations, medical examinations, emergency eye care services, glasses, and contact lenses to patients of all ages. Quick lives in Vincennes.

After graduating from the IU School of Optometry, Andrea M. (Kern) Rope, BS ’05 Biology, OD ’09, served in the U.S. Air Force as an active duty officer and optometrist for nearly eight years. During her Air Force career, Rope served in several leadership positions, including aerospace and operational medicine flight commander, and serving as an externship preceptor where she educated optometry students. She was selected to serve as the Biomedical Science Corps executive on the medical group’s executive board and was chosen to be the optometry consultant for all of the flight training bases within the Air Education and Training Command. In 2016, Rope and her husband, Joshua, completed their active duty military service and moved with their two children to Bedford, IN. She is an optometrist at Dr. Jim I. Sowders practice of optometry in Bedford.

Sue Ann Zollinger, PhD ’07 Evolution, Ecology & Behavior, is a lecturer in Animal Behavior and physiology in the Department of Natural Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom. Her dog X-Ray enjoys having a fenced yard to play in, but is a bit miffed that she can’t go to work with Zollinger the way she did when Zollinger worked in Germany.