Terri (Reinhardt) ’85 and Jim DeGeer are the third generation to farm their land in Neosho County, Kan. And they are the third generation to earn the title: Master Farmer. The couple is one of six to be honored as 2016 Kansas Master Farmers and Master Farm Homemakers for their leadership in agriculture, environmental stewardship and service to their communities. Together, the DeGeers operate a seedstock beef cattle operation; they raise registered Gelbvieh cattle and have a herd of about 140 cows. Terri, whose master’s degree from Wichita State is in counseling, has also worked for 30 years as a school counselor.
Bowling for Team USA
Given the striking success of the Wichita State Shocker bowling program – winner of 20 national championships! – it comes as no surprise that some of its bowling team members, past and present, trade their black and Sunflower yellow in for red, white and blue. Since 1975, some 50 Shockers have bowled for Team USA. This year, there are four Shocker bowlers traveling the globe as part of the national team. They are Chris Barnes ’92, Sean Rash ’05, A.J. Chapman ’16 and current student Sydney Brummett. Keep those strikes coming, Shockers!
La La Land Vocalist
You won’t see Angela Parrish ’10/10 in La La Land. But you’ll hear her. Her voice is the first one to grace the aspirational musical for Hollywood dreamers that swept all seven categories for which it was nominated at this year’s Golden Globes, including best motion picture, musical or comedy. The movie went on to capture five Academy Awards, including for best musical score. Although dancer Reshma Gajjar lip-syncs the vocals in “Another Day of Sun,” it is Parrish who supplies the vocals for the dazzling six-minute opening number that takes place in freeway gridlock hell. Parrish, who lives in California, earned degrees in music ed and jazz studies.
Several Wichita State campus landmarks find mention in WSU alumna Bonnie Bing Honeyman’s new children’s book Pony Tales. Take this passage as an illustration: “Before long they were on a college campus with lots of buildings and sculptures. ‘Wow! Look at that huge picture made of little tiny rocks!’ Ike said, stopping suddenly in front of the Ulrich Museum. ‘That’s the Miró mosaic,’ River Fox explained. ‘Come on, we’re almost at Koch Arena.’” Pony Tales was written and published to raise funds for the restoration of Wichita’s Joyland carousel, which was donated by Joyland’s owner to Botanica: The Wichita Gardens in 2014.
Who’s Gonna Be Who?
In the performing arts industry, casting is a special calling. Just think of the layers upon layers of detail and background necessary to a single successful pairing of a performer with a particular role. This is the work of Stephen Kopel ’04, casting director at Roundabout Theatre Co. in NYC. One of his most recent gigs was casting Sunday in the Park with George, a limited-run revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical. Inspired by the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, the musical’s plot revolves around George, a fictionalized Seurat, and his great-grandson (also named George). So who was cast in the title role? Jake Gyllenhaal. Sunday in the Park with George ran on Broadway from Feb. 23 to April 23.
Dégustation de Vins
Dégustation de vins. Weinprobe. Vínsmökkun. Degustação de vinho. Whether you say it in French, German, Icelandic, Portuguese or English, “wine tasting” sounds like a fine sport to be involved with — at least this must be the case for Jared Foley ’08, who holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports management. Foley, who makes his home in Santa Rosa, Calif., is assistant tasting room manager at VJB Vineyards and Cellars in Kenwood, Calif.
Zinta Inspired Shocker
Vendla Smith ’08, founder and director of Zinta Inspired Language, an international cross-cultural and language training center in Wichita, started up her business 17 years ago in her basement. Today Zinta operates out of 5,000 square feet in east Wichita, with plans to open a second location on the west side. Zinta is the 2017 winner of the Murdock Award for Business, one of the annual Difference Maker for Wichita awards sponsored by the Wichita Eagle and given in recognition of positive contributions to the community. In Zinta’s case, the positive contribution is “helping people connect across cultures in a world where it’s more necessary than ever.”
Shocker to Watch
Sarah Coffman ’10 has a big heart. As the founder and executive director of the volunteer-based licensed rescue and nonprofit Wichita Animal Action League, she advocates for abused, neglected and abandoned animals. Coffman and WAAL’s volunteers are devoted in their efforts to rescue animals in crisis and alleviate their suffering. A graduate of WSU’s Elliott School of Communication, Coffman has been awarded the school’s 2016 One to Watch Award, which honors ESC alumni who have graduated within the past decade and produced outstanding professional work.