Five new members recently have joined the ranks of the Council of the Society of the Alumni. The council serves as an advisory board for the Office of Alumni Relations, weighing in on everything from alumni events taking place across the country to who should receive Alumni Citations during Reunion Weekend. As the voice of Denison for more than 30,000 alumni worldwide, council members keep their classmates in-the-know when it comes to life on the hill. Here are the newest Big Red ambassadors.
Steve Denne ‘78
After serving as vice president of the American Red Cross, Denne switched to his current position as chief operating officer of Heifer International, a nonprofit with the goal of ending world hunger. (You can donate a goat to a needy family through its website.) Even though he has his hands full trying to help people in need throughout the world, he remains a big presence on campus: He was part of his 25th reunion committee and was chosen as keynote speaker for the annual Denison Gathering in Naples earlier this year. Extra incentive for staying connected came from his newly graduated daughter, Caroline ‘10.
Holly Jespersen ‘97
Jespersen is a publicist living in New York City–a busy job, sure, but she still has found time to serve as president of the Denison Club of New York, helping to organize events for alumni in the Big Apple. You might recognize her name from the summer issue of Denison Magazine–she was the driving force behind the club’s tour of Central Park in April.
Jeffrey Masten ‘86
Masten is an associate professor of English and gender studies at Northwestern University. He’s been teaching there since 1998 and has also taught at Harvard, the University of Chicago, and Michigan. He has written and edited several volumes on English Renaissance literature and culture and is currently writing a book of essays, Spelling Shakespeare. At Denison, he has served in many positions, from career adviser to piano accompanist for Denison Singers’ reunion concerts. He also was co-founder of the Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae Association (now the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Alumni/ae Association) and has served on its advisory committee since 1988. Masten joins both the council and Denison’s Board of Trustees as an alumni-nominated trustee.
Debbie Lukacovic Grable ‘77
As a biology major, Grable was told that it would be impossible for her to spend any of her time at Denison abroad–she simply would not be able to complete her science coursework in time to graduate. She went to Vienna anyway during the fall of her junior year. Upon returning to the hill, she not only earned extra biology credits and doubled up on labs, but she graduated on time. She also teamed up with David Gibbons, then-dean of students, to convince the college to better organize and promote study abroad programs for all students. The result was the development of the Off-Campus Study program. Grable went on to study at the University of Pennsylvania and worked as an occupational therapist for 20 years. Today she lives in New Jersey, where she has started her own gymnastics business for middle- and high school-aged kids.
Mike Kleinfelder ‘00
Mike Kleinfelder is simply adding another role to his list. He’s a husband to Katie O’Connor ‘00 and a dad to daughter Riley and another soon-to-be Kleinfelder family addition. He works in wealth management for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Oh, and he runs. And swims. And cycles with all the free time he manages to garner–he completed his first Half Ironman competition in Ontario, Canada, in August. Kleinfelder has headed up the Denison Club of Cincinnati since 2005.